Gurugram Namaz Row: ‘Offering namaz in open will not be tolerated’, warns CM Manohar Lal Khattar

On a day when the Hindutva activists disrupted Muslims’ Friday prayer and raised anti-Muslim slogans, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced that the namaz of Muslims on Friday should not be offered in the open and the practice “will not be tolerated.”

The CM announced that an earlier decision on where some spots had been reserved for the purpose of Muslims’ offering prayer had now been withdrawn.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,” Chief Minister Khattar was quoted as saying by the Indian Express.

He added that Muslims have said 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,” he said.

Khattar’s remarks comes after a meeting of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA).

Hours before the Chief Minister’s announcement, local residents and members of right-wing Hindutva outfits gathered the open site outside Sector 37 police station, which had been allocated for Friday namaz prayers and raised anti-Muslim slogans.

A video shared by The Quint showed slogans such as, “Na mullon ka na qazi ka, yeh desh hai Veer Shivaji ka” raised by Hindutva groups.

Members of Hindutva have been disrupting Friday prayers in Gurugram’s open spaces since September 2021, despite these sites being designated by the state government for this purpose.

In a press statement, Gurgaon Muslim Council representative Altaf Ahmed said that Muslims of Gurugram 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,” Ahmed said.

All the applications of Muslim community get rejected, Altaf said adding that their earnest money was refunded including their latest application submitted in October, this year.

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