Gurgaon Administration Withdraws Permission for Namaz at Eight Spots

The move comes amid sustained protests by Hindutva groups, which have tried to disrupt Friday prayers in two spots for almost two months.

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New Delhi: Caving to pressure from Hindutva groups, Gurgaon’s district administration on Tuesday cancelled permission to offer namaz at eight of the 37 designated sites. In a statement, the administration cited “objection from local residents and resident welfare associations” as the reason, according to Indian Express.

The move comes after sustained protests by Hindutva groups, which have opposed public namaz offerings despite the administration’s permission. The administration was forced to provide police protection to the sites.

According to Indian Express, the sites where permission has been cancelled are Bengali Basti sector 49, V block DLF phase 3, Surat Nagar Phase 1, outside Kheri Majra village, near Daulatabad village on Dwarka Expressway, sector 68 near Ramgarh village, near DLF square tower, from Rampur village to Nakhrola road.

The Hindutva groups protested at two sites, in sector 12 A and sector 47, for two months.

The 37 designated spots were arrived at after public namaz offerings were objected to by Hindutva groups and residents. The administration has now formed a committee to once again identify spots where namaz can be offered. A sub-divisional magistrate, an assistant commissioner level police officer, members of Hindu and Muslim communities and social organisations will be part of the committee, according to Indian Express.

“The committee will take decisions after consultation with all the stakeholders and the decision to designate a spot for namaz will only be taken after taking consent from local residents. While taking a decision, it will be ensured that the residents of the area do not have any opposition to the offering of namaz at a particular location. Namaz can be offered at any mosque, Idgah or a private place.” the statement read.

Last Friday, 30 people were detained after they attempted to disrupt namaz in Gurugram by shouting slogans and holding up placards. As The Wire has reported, Hindutva leaders and groups have been central to the protests and have made false allegations against the Muslim community.

Bharat Mata Vahini president Dinesh Bharti, who has spearheaded the protests, had claimed that the namaz offering was an ‘international conspiracy’. “They are offering namaz as part of this conspiracy of… love jihad, land jihad. If we don’t raise our voice, they will build a mosque here,” he had said.