Gurgaon Administration caves in to Hindutva pressure, cancels permission for Friday prayers at 8 spots

Gurgaon (Haryana, India), November 03 (KMS): The district administration in Gurgaon has yielded to Hindutva pressure as it announced that permission for Friday namaz (prayers) to Muslims has been cancelled at eight spots among the 37 designated spots.

The statement put out by the administration said that the decision to cancel the permission was taken following “objection from local residents and resident welfare associations”.

These namaz spots where permission has been cancelled are: Bengali Basti Sector 49; V block DLF Phase 3; Surat Nagar Phase 1; a spot outside Kheri Majra village; a spot near Daulatabad village on Dwarka Expressway; Sector 68 near Ramgarh village; a spot near DLF square tower; and a spot between Rampur village and Nakhrola Road.

Meanwhile, a civil society forum, Gurgaon Ekta Manch, has vowed to counter the attacks against namaz by launching a public awareness campaign that will run online and offline to dispel fake news and false allegations with facts.

For more than a month, Hindutva supporters led by Dinesh Bharti of Bharat Mata Vahini group have been disrupting congregational prayers every Friday at a designated spot in Sector 47 in Gurugram where Muslims assemble for weekly namaz. Protests and disruptions were also reported from Sector 12.

Announcing the launch of the campaign at a press conference, Gurgaon Ekta Manch said that a platform will be made available for all those who disagree with the current campaign against the Friday Namaz and who stand for a united Gurgaon for harmony and progress.

“Gurgaon is a melting pot of people from all backgrounds who have come here to make a life and in doing so have made this city into one of the most cosmopolitan cities of India. Can we afford to tarnish the image of Gurgaon internationally and the question is what would be the impact of such hatred on the business and industrial future of Gurgaon? Peace, harmony and safety are the three critical pillars on which industry and business survive and grow. The current attempt to break these pillars has serious implications for all Gurgaon residents and their future,” a statement issued after the press conference read.

On Tuesday, the district administration formed a committee that will discuss the issue with members of Muslim and Hindu committees and local civil society groups to resolve the impasse created over namaz. A sub-divisional magistrate and an assistant commissioner level police officer will be part of the committee.

“The committee will take decisions after consultation with all the stakeholders and the decision to designate a spot for namaz will only be taken after taking consent from local residents. While taking a decision, it will be ensured that the residents of the area do not have any opposition to the offering of namaz at a particular location. Namaz can be offered at any mosque, Idgah or a private place,” the South Asian Wire report quoted the statement.

Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, an umbrella body of Hindutva groups, met Gurgaon deputy commissioner seeking ban on Friday namaz at all public places.

Gurugram, bordering Delhi, does not have enough mosques to accommodate all the worshipers forcing Muslims to come out in the open to offer their mandatory congregational prayers.