Holding namaz as show of strength wrong, says Haryana CM Khattar
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Tuesday said it was “inappropriate” to hold Friday prayers in open spaces as a “show of strength”, advising all communities to avoid organising such routine religious programmes in public places.
“No member of any community should hold regular religious programmes in open public spaces,” Khattar said in the Vidhan Sabha after Congress member from Nuh assembly Aftab Ahmed raised the issue of Hindu groups opposing Friday prayers in open places in Gurugram.
The chief minister said whenever people want to organise such routine religious activities, they should hold them in temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras,
“Displaying a show of strength is not good as this provokes the sentiments of another community,” Khattar said even as the Congress MLA reminded the chief minister that latter was the custodian of the state, and the protector of the people of all faiths.
This was the second time that the issue was raised in the House after the winter session of the Vidhan Sabha began last Friday. Earlier, Congress MLA Mamman Khan from Ferozepur Jhirka of Nuh district also raised the matter, objecting to Khattar’s recent remarks over namaaz being held in public places. Both Ahmed and Khan demanded that chief minister should withdraw his statement.
However, the chief minister said it was the responsibility of all to ensure that there was no social confrontation and the peace was maintained. He said people of all faiths hold prayers at designated religious places such as temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras, and that permissions are given to organise big festivals and programmes in open public places.
“Gurugram is a symbol of development. What message is being sent out from Gurugram when one cannot offer prayers as per one’s choice?,” the Congress MLA said, adding that “some elements” were repeatedly disrupting Friday prayers.
“The Constitution gives the right to practise one’s religion. No one has the right to disrupt prayers,” the Congress legislator said.
The chief minister said people have agreed to hold Friday prayers at certain places in Gurugram, till new arrangements are made. “The good thing is that some places have been identified as per a consensus till new arrangements are made. When consensus is breached and some people hold prayers outside the agreed upon spots, it leads to confrontation,” Khattar said, advising the opposition MLAs not to flare up this issue as this can breach communal harmony.
In a press statement on Tuesday, the Gurgaon Muslim Council, that is leading the demand for namaz sites, said, “Muslims of Gurugram are extremely pained to hear that our CM in Haryana Assembly has said that Muslims offering their obligatory weekly prayers is a show of strength. Instead of stopping such horrifying attacks on Muslims by far-right wing groups, CM has put the blame squarely on us.”
On December 10, Khattar, when he was in Gurugram, said that performing namaz in open spaces cannot be tolerated, and asked the Hindu and Muslim groups and the district administration to discuss and resolve the issue. Following Khattar’s remarks the district administration withdrew permission for Friday prayers at 20 designated sites. Fresh sites were yet to be assigned.
Hindu right-wing groups have been protesting against Friday namaz in open public spaces in Gurugram for the last three years. In 2018, the administration designated 37 sites for Muslims to perform the Friday prayers. However, the number of sites were cut down to 20 in November after members of the right-wing groups and locals continued to protest and disrupt prayers. Muslims have maintained that they were forced to use public spaces since there were not enough number of mosques in the city.
The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study has estimated that India is home to over 30 million asthmatics, accounting for 13.09% of the global burden. When it comes to mortality, India accounts for over 42% of all global asthma deaths, said Dr Rahul Rathore, pulmonologist, Charak Hospital, in a press statement on Friday. “Population-based studies done globally, have estimated that 20% to 70% of patients with asthma remain undiagnosed and hence untreated,” he said.
Uttar Pradesh reported 147 new Covid cases while 137 patients recovered on Friday, according to the data from the state health department. One death was reported in Prayagraj. “In the past 24-hours 1,14,500 Covid samples were tested while a total of 11,33,39,576 Covid samples have been tested till now in Uttar Pradesh,” said Amit Mohan Prasad, additional chief secretary, medical health, in a press statement.
A 14-year-old boy playing cricket at civic ground, Savlaram Krida Sankul in Dombivli on Friday evening, was killed after being hit by a car. A 25-year-old man was driving the car across the ground and rammed into The deceased, Prashant Mishra of Azade Pada, Dombivli (E). A case has been registered against the driver under Section 304 of the IPC and the police have arrested him. The boy was in a pool of blood.
Mumbai Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar has invited representatives of Brahmin outfits in the state for an open dialogue in Pune on Saturday, to clear his party's stand about the community. The move assumes significance considering the anti-Brahmin accusation against Pawar and NCP by the opposition — Bharatiya Janata Party. The meeting will be held at Nisarg Mangal Karyalaya, Gultekdi in Pune on Saturday evening. Pune NCP district president, Pradeep Garatkar, confirmed the development.
The district administration has directed all government departments to adopt at least 10 schools each and carry out plantation drive there to increase green cover. “We are planning to carry out mega plantation drive in the government schools following which all government departments have been directed to adopt at least 10 schools each,” said district magistrate Abhishek Prakash. The DM has ordered all government officials to plant one sapling for every family member.