Hindu Outfit-Led Protest in Gurgaon Demands Ban on Namaz in Open

The groups at the protest also demanded that the case against six men who recently disrupted Friday prayers at a vacant lot in the city be withdrawn.

New Delhi: Several outfits, led by the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, staged a demonstration in Gurgaon on Monday (April 30), demanding that the case registered against six men for disrupting namaz be withdrawn and a city-wide ban implemented on reading namaz in the open.

On April 27, the six men in question had disrupted a namaz in a vacant plot in Sector 53 in Gurgaon.

An Indian Express report said the protesters have submitted a letter addressed to chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh alleging that under the false pretext of prayers, the worshippers were chanting anti-India and pro-Pakistan slogans. And that they intended to occupy the land illegally.

“When some patriotic youth stopped them from doing this, police conducted a one-sided investigation. Does chanting ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Jai Shri Ram’ come in the ambit of offence that the youth were arrested?” they said in the letter.

However, the worshippers, who have been gathering at the site for the last decade to read namaz every Friday, have denied the allegations. “We don’t even talk to each other when reading the namaz; chanting slogans is out of the question. These are just false allegations,” said Wajid Khan, who heads the Nehru Yuva Sangathan Welfare Society Charitable Trust and was the complainant in the case.

The six men who had disrupted the prayers with chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Radhe Radhe’ are rumoured to be affiliated with pro-Hindu groups. However, the police have refuted this, saying the rumours were being spread to communalise the matter and that the accused were all from the neighbouring village. Although the accused have been granted bail, outfits in the village held a demonstration demanding that the case against them be withdrawn.

A report in The Hindu quoted Gurgaon Shiv Sena president Gautam Saini, who was among the protesters, as saying: “Crimes against women are on the rise across the country and it is difficult to establish the identity of these men offering namaz in large numbers near the village every Friday. It is not known whether they are Rohingyas, Bangladeshis or Mewatis. It is a potential threat to the girls and women of the village.”

He argued that these men were allowed to assemble anywhere for prayers without prior intimation to the administration every Friday, even though, by law, permission was required for holding meetings and protests.

The outfits have stated this in their letter as well: “Rohingyas and Bangladeshis residing in Gurgaon should also be identified and marked. Permission should not be given to read namaz in Hindu colonies, sectors and neighbourhoods. Permission should only be given in those places where the strength of this population is more than 50%, otherwise there will continue to be a possibility of peace being obstructed.”