Haryana Waqf Board Urges Administration to Remove Encroachments From Its Lands

Over the last two weeks, there have been disruptions to Friday prayers by right-wing groups at multiple locations in Gurgaon.

Gurgaon: The Haryana Waqf Board on Monday (May 7) urged the administration here in a letter to remove encroachments from its lands near mosques so that people can offer prayers. The board’s request comes a day after Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar said that namaz should be only offered in mosques, eidgahs and private areas.

The Waqf Board has earmarked 22 lands in Gurgaon belonging to mosques which have allegedly been encroached.

Jalaluddin, a Haryana Waqf Board officer, told PTI, “Waqf Board has written a letter to Gurgaon district administration with the lists of encroached land near mosques and asked the officers concerned to remove encroachment so that the Muslim people can use it for offering namaz .”

He also said that the Waqf board in its letter also mentioned that people in some Gurgaon villages have encroached mosques’ land. This is the main reason why number of mosques is less in Gurgaon and people have to offer prayers outside in public places, he added.

However, Waqf board lands are available in Wazirabad, Garhi Harsaru, Mewaka, Fazilpur Jharsa, Narungpur, Dhankot, Badshahpur, Farukhnagar and other 22 places, Jalaluddin mentioned. “We have asked administration to ensure all necessary arrangement so that people can use these 22 mosques lands for prayers with full protection,” he said.

In the wake of alleged disruptions to namaz by right-wing groups at multiple locations in Gurgaon, Haryana chief minister Khattar had on Sunday said that such congregations should be restricted to mosques, eidgahs or private places, even as he asserted the government will ensure that law and order is maintained.

“Gurgaon district magistrate Vinay Kumar Singh taking cognisance on the Waqf Board’s letter has asked Tehsildars and officers concerned to submit reports in this connection,” a senior officer said.

Over the last two weeks, there were “disruptions” to namaz at Wazirabad, the Atul Kataria Chowk, the Cyber Park, the Bakhtawar Chowk and at the South City, the police had said. The disruptions were caused allegedly by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal, the Hindu Kranti Dal, the Gau Rakshak Dal and the Shiv Sena, they said.

The right-wing groups have been saying they would continue their protest if the administration did not stop “unauthorised” prayers at public places. They say Muslim worshippers did not have permission to offer prayers at roadsides, parks and vacant government land in Gurgaon.