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After namaz row in Noida ‘illegal’ pandal for katha event removed from Greater Noida ground

On Wednesday, Greater Noida officials said they received a complaint from some residents of Sector-37 regarding the ceremony in Kasna area. The Authority officials removed the pandal while the function was going on.

india Updated: Dec 27, 2018 10:34 IST
namaz row,greater noida ground,noida
The authority removed the pandal but left the idol undamaged.(Sourced)

A makeshift pandal erected on a public ground in Greater Noida’s Sector-37 for a “katha” ceremony was removed on Wednesday by authority officials citing that the organisers had not obtained permission for it.

The action comes just days after Noida police issued a notice to companies in the city that they would be held responsible if their employees were found offering namaz at a Sector-58 public park.

On Wednesday, Greater Noida officials said they received a complaint from some residents of Sector-37 regarding the ceremony in Kasna area. The Authority officials removed the pandal while the function was going on.

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“We had received information that a few people had erected a pandal and organised a ceremony without permission. Due action was taken as per procedure and people were informed that if they wish to organise a ceremony then they can do it after seeking permission from Greater Noida Authority. The Authority can grant permission after the proposal is properly reviewed by police and city magistrate,” said Krishna Kumar Gupta, additional chief executive officer, Greater Noida Authority.

Police said that the organisers had not sought their permission and that they were not involved in the subsequent action by the Greater Noida Authority.

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“A team of officials from Greater Noida Authority removed a pandal that was erected by a few residents in the Sector-37 ground. The residents had not sought any permission from the Authority to hold the katha ceremony. Police was not involved in the removal of the structure,” said Ramphal Singh, station house officer, Kasna police station.

While many people protested the Authority’s actions, it did not escalate.

“We informed the agitating devotees that they continue their religious ceremony after seeking permission from the Greater Noida Authority. They agreed to it and there was no furore at the site,” said Singh.

Chainpal Bhati, president of the Gautam Bhudh Nagar unit of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, an organisation founded by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, was also present at the site.

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“It was not the intention of the state government to hurt the feelings of any community by today’s action,” he said. “The devotees had not sought any permission to hold the katha ceremony and that is why action was carried out.”

The Noida police’s notice had created a political furore with opposition Samajwadi Party alleging that officials were helping the ruling party in Uttar Pradesh create a divide before the 2019 general elections.

On Tuesday, Gautam Budh Nagar district magistrate BN Singh had come out in defence of the police that had issued a notice to the companies in Noida, stating that they were following their duty since no permission had been given by city magistrate to people seeking space to offer namaz in the Sector-58 park.

First Published: Dec 27, 2018 07:48 IST