Gurgaon, (Haryana, India), November 12 (KMS): Members of extremist Hindu groups prevented Muslims from offering Juma prayers in Gurgaon city of Indian state of Haryana.
Members of extremist Hindu groups occupied a site in Sector 12A to stop Muslims from performing their religious obligation.
Visuals from the site showed people sitting around – they assembled in the morning and claimed to be making a volleyball court. In effect, though, they were preventing prayers from taking place.
“We are sitting here quietly… but will not allow prayers. We will plan for a game here,” one of those occupying the ground, Parmila Chahar said, while another, Veer Yadav, said, “We will set up a net… will build a volleyball court here (and) children will play. Will not allow namaz, no matter what.”
Nearby, rows of cow dung pieces spread across the ground last week – after right-wing groups held a “puja” that included spreading the dung over the namaz prayer spot – remained untouched.
Muslim organisations, who have faced protests and displays of intimidation at this and other sites for the past several weeks, had announced not to offer prayers at this site today.
“We have told everyone that until we have an agreement with our Hindu brothers, we will not be offering prayers here… DC saheb has also given us a week,” they said.
Today’s protests are the latest in what has become a weekly stand-off between the two sides, with members of right-wing groups have hit out at the Muslims praying open places.
The site in Sector 12A is one of 29 (it used to be 37) “designated” for the offering of namaz after an agreement between Hindus and Muslims following similar clashes in 2018. Last week (before Friday prayers on November 5) Gurgaon authorities withdrew permission to offer namaz at eight of these “designated” sites.