Gurugram admin withdraws nod for 8 namaz sites after objections

Officials of the district administration said that they have formed a committee, comprising a subdivisional magistrate, an assistant commissioner of police and members of religious organisations and civil society groups to hold a discussion on the issue.
A policeman stands guard at a designated namaz site in Sector 47 in October, following protests and threats by right-wing Hindu groups. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
A policeman stands guard at a designated namaz site in Sector 47 in October, following protests and threats by right-wing Hindu groups. (Vipin Kumar/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 03, 2021 05:37 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, Gurugram

The Gurugram district administration on Tuesday withdrew permissions for eight of the 37 designated namaz sites after representatives of Muslim groups on Monday offered to stop offering Friday prayers on government land over objections raised by residents and right-wing Hindu groups.

Officials of the district administration said that they have formed a committee, comprising a subdivisional magistrate, an assistant commissioner of police and members of religious organisations and civil society groups to hold a discussion on the issue.

A meeting in this regard is likely to take place on Wednesday morning and a decision on prayer sites are likely to be taken, officials said.

A release issued by the district administration on Tuesday stated, “It has been decided to form a committee comprising all the stakeholders which will discuss the matter with all communities to resolve the issue. It will be ensured that local residents don’t face any trouble due to this practice. It will also be ensured that no road or public place is designated as a site for offering prayers. The committee will also take consent from locals at the time of designating a spot for offering prayers.”

Yash Garg, deputy commissioner, Gurugram said that all stakeholders are being engaged to resolve the matter peacefully.

“Hectic discussions and meetings are being held daily with members of both Hindu and Muslim communities to resolve this issue peacefully. The proposed committee will engage with all stakeholders and finalise a solution that is acceptable to everyone. It has been agreed by both sides that ensuring peace and brotherhood in the city will remain their priority. The matter will be resolved through consensus in the next few days,” Garg said.

According to a statement issued by the Gurugram police, permission for eight sites were withdrawn and a decision on the remaining sites will be taken by the committee.

The eight designated sites for which permissions were withdrawn are located in Bengali Basti in Sector 49, V Block of DLF Phase-3, Surat Nagar Phase-1, outskirts of Kherki Majra village, outskirts of Daulatabad village near Dwarka Expressway, near Ramgarh village in Sector 68, near DLF Square Tower and Rampur village, in the direction of Nakhrola Road.

Officials of the district administration said that the committee will ensure that namaz is offered at mosques or designated sites decided by consensus. It also directed that permission from the administration is required to offer namaz in an open or public place. They also called upon both Hindu and Muslim organisations to work in a coordinated manner to ensure peace in the city.

On Monday, representatives of the Muslim groups and Haryana Waqf Board stated that they would refrain from offering namaz at sites where the public objected to the same and asked that the administration clear encroachments on 19 land parcels of the Waqf Board.

Meanwhile, members of the Sanyukt Hindu Sangarsh Samiti, a Hindu organisation that has been protesting the practice, held a meeting with the district administration on Tuesday and reiterated their demand for ending the practice. “Our only submission to the district administration is that prayers should not be held in the open,” said Kulbhushan Bhardwaj, legal advisor of the Samiti.

Mahavir Bhardwaj, the president of the Samiti, said that they will conduct Govardhan Puja and Annkoot Puja on a designated namaz site in Sector 12 on November 5.

Members of civil society groups said that their constitutional rights were being violated as every citizen has a right to practice their religion freely. “I have come to know via media reports that eight spots of Juma Namaz have been cancelled by the administration. I hope that this information is incorrect as there is no basis on which administration can cancel these namaz sites. The administration must ensure that rights of citizens are protected and it does not succumb to the pressure and threats made by hatemongers in the name of religion,” Altaf Ahmad, a member of Gurgaon Nagrik Ekta Manch, said.

Ahmad said that the decision taken by the Muslim Ekta Manch, a group representing Muslims in the city, on Monday to stop Friday prayers in public places is a step taken in its personal capacity, and it was not binding on all members of the community.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Abhishek Behl is principal correspondent, Hindustan Times in Gurgaon Bureau. He covers infrastructure, planning and civic agencies in the city. He has been covering Gurgaon as correspondent for the last 10 years, and has written extensively on the city.

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