On a day when Hindutva activists again disrupted Muslims’ Friday prayer and raised anti-Muslim slogans, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that Friday prayer of Muslims should not be offered in the open and the practice “will not be tolerated.”
“this practice of offering namaz prayers here in the open, this will not be tolerated,” CM said to the reporters.
Khattar also announced that an earlier decision on where some sites had been reserved for the purpose of Muslims’ prayer had now been withdrawn.
“We have told the police and the Deputy Commissioner that this issue has to be resolved. To resolve it, everyone offers prayers at their own place, someone offers namaz, someone does paath, someone does puja, we have no issue with that. And religious places are built for these purposes only so that prayers are offered there. Such practises should not take place in the open, this practice of offering namaz prayers here in the open, this will not be tolerated,” Indian Express quoted CM Khattar as saying.
He went on to say: “They (Muslims) have said that they have several places where they should be given permission. Some of their properties or those under Waqf board are encroached upon… how they can be made available to them is being discussed. Or they can offer prayers in their homes. Offering namaz in the open and this confrontation, we will not allow this confrontation to continue.”
His remarks came following a meeting of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA).
Hours before CM’s comments, local residents and members of Hindutva groups occupied the area outside the Sector 37 police station, which had been earmarked for namaz prayers and raised anti-Muslim slogans.
“Na mullon ka na qazi ka, yeh desh hai Veer Shivaji ka” slogans were raised by Hindutva groups, a video shared by The Quint showed.
Since September 2021, members of Hindutva have been disrupting Friday prayers of Muslims in open spaces in Gurgaon, despite these sites being designated by the state government for this purpose.
Altaf Ahmad who represents the Gurgaon Muslim Council said in a press statement that Muslims of Gurgaon are forced to offer Friday prayer in open as Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) has not allocated land to them.
“Waqf Board and Administration have not been able to get Waqf Properties back from encroachers for a very long time. Now CM has said that 37 approved sites in open needs to be re-worked between Administration & Muslim Community, then we request him to instruct HSVP to allocate us land in multiple Sectors to build multistorey mosques and that shall be the end of Juma Namaz row,” Altaf said.
Altaf also claimed that all the applications of Muslim community get rejected and earnest money refunded including their latest application submitted in October, 2021.
“Kindly, vacate my mosques which have been occupied in Gurgaon. We would offer our prayer there,” in an interview with Maktoob, Haji Shahzad Khan, the imam who faced the Hindutva mob while making his way to the namaz site in Gurgaon last Friday, said.
Last Friday, members of Hindutva groups had shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and disrupted the offering of namaz at a designated open site in Gurgaon despite police presence on the ground.
Around 15 Muslims offered Friday prayers amid Hindutva war cries.