Thursday, April 18, 2024

Haryana govt refuses to allot land for Mosques, backs Hindutva groups: AIMPLB

Haryana govt refuses to allot land for Mosques, backs Hindutva groups: AIMPLB
Photo: Meer Faisal/Maktoob

Mosques in Waqf lands in Hariyana have been occupied by the state government and they are reluctant to return those properties back to Muslims, said All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB)’s General Secretary Khalid Saifullah Rahmani.

Rahmani, representing India’s premier Muslim body, said that Muslims of Gurgaon are forced to offer Friday prayer in the open as the government authorities have not allocated land to them.

Haryana’s saffron party-led government sanctions the unprincipled discretion of barring Muslims from offering their prayer in open areas in Gurgaon, Rahmani alleged.

He was responding to the continuous threats and attacks by Hindutva groups against Muslims and Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar’s recent statement in which he said “Friday prayer of Muslims should not be offered in the open and the practice will not be tolerated.”

Rahmani has asserted that the city of Gurgaon is densely populated with Muslims due to which the number of Muslim professionals and laborers working in Gurgaon is also escalating, Rahmani said.

“Nevertheless, the Government of Haryana has advertently turned down the petition of Mosque construction in the wake of which Muslims are left with no choice but to pray in open spaces where they are subjected to environmental impediments such as sweltering heat as well as rainfall,” Rahmani said in the statement.

He went on to say: “Owing to the limited number of mosques, a considerable chunk of Muslims in Gurgaon are unable to offer Namaz in Mosques peacefully. Numerous waqf properties are held under the occupancy of the Haryana Government but they are reluctant to return those properties back to Muslims which is a questionable act in itself. As a matter of fact, a Friday prayer hardly takes an hour to finish and yet the Government is putting a restraint on it.”

All India Muslim Personal Law Board said it overtly excoriates the unethical act of prohibiting Muslims from attending Friday prayer in open and makes an appeal to the government of Haryana to resolve the issue of hindrance in Friday prayers.

Rahmani also demanded an austere action to be taken against the Hindutva groups RSS, VHP, and Bajrang Dal who were behind the hate crimes against Muslims in the city.

Last Friday, 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 open and the practice “will not be tolerated.”

“This practice of offering namaz prayers here in the open, 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.

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, said.

Two weeks ago, 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.

Ilma Mujeeb
Ilma Mujeeb
Ilma Mujeeb is an independent journalist and a student in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.
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