With Puja plan, right-wing Hindus force Muslims to skip Friday prayers in Gurgaon

Gurgaon (Haryana, India), November 06 (KMS): As planned, right-wing Hindus organised a ‘Govardhan puja’ event at the designated site of Friday prayers at Sector 12 in Gurgaon, Haryana, thus forcing Muslims to forgo obligatory weekly prayer.

Friday prayers were also not held at two more designated sites – Sector 47 and Sector-18 because of the same pooja. However, Friday prayers were held at the rest of the designated open sites. Local Muslim leadership had appealed to the community members to show restraint and walk away in case troublemakers try to provoke or disrupt Namaz at the remaining 36 sites.

The puja event which started at 11 am was attended by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra, the controversial figure involved in provoking the anti-Muslim Delhi riots of February 2020. As usual he made a provocative speech and justified the puja event saying that they have gathered to oppose holding prayer on the roads.

In a provocative manner, he lauded the people of Gurgaon for rising up against Namaz saying they have “shown the entire country how it is done, to fight for your rights. This is not the problem of only Gurgaon but roads are blocked in other cities as well.”

He boasted about how people defied the orders (ban on firecrackers) on Diwali. He also made reference to Shaheen Bagh where women belonging to minority community blocked a highway for months during a countrywide protest movement against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). “They blocked Shaheen Bagh. Did CAA go back?” Mishra asked.

The event was organized by Sanyukta Hindu Sangharsh Samiti (SHSS), a body of Hindu extremist groups including Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Kranti Dal, Arya Samaj, and Sanatan Dharam.

The right-wing Hindus have been disrupting Namaz at open places designated by the administration in Gurgaon for more than a month. Due to lack of a sufficient number of mosques in the area, in 2018 Muslims were allotted 37 sites to offer congregational Friday prayers. Even back then Hindutva supporters opposed and disrupted Namaz at open places but after police action it stopped.

Meanwhile, as Hindutva supporters held Puja event, the Muslim community decided to cancel Namaz at Sector-12 site.

“We have asked our Muslim Community of Gurgaon (who are forced to offer their obligatory Juma Namaz at these open sites due to lack of mosques in Gurgaon) to show restraint and walk away in case troublemakers try to provoke or disrupt Namaaz at the remaining 36 sites. No reaction or confrontation is required under any kind of provocation,” said Altaf Ahmad, a representative of the community in Gurgaon.