Three private firms in Sec 58 give space to Muslim employees for namaz
As the Noida police, through a directive, deterred Muslim workers from offering Friday namaz at the Sector 58 public park on Friday, private firms stepped up, and offered space to their employees for the day’s prayers.
Three firms in Sector 58 opened up their rooftops Friday to allow Muslim employees to pray.
Amid the raging namaz row, Friday saw majority of the Muslim workers in sector 58 head towards a tomb adjacent to a park in Sector 54 to offer prayers. However, a few dozen employees found a space in their respective office spaces.
The owner of a hosiery company in Sector 58, told HT, on condition of anonymity, that he has been arranging a space for his Muslim employees on the rooftop to offer Friday prayers for the past 12 years. He said he had also arranged for an Imam who recites the Quran to the 35-40 Muslim employees working in his company.
Friday noon saw 70-80 people offer namaz on the company’s office rooftop, with Imam Mohammad Abbas reciting verses from Quran.
“I have been coming to the company every Friday for the past 12 years. It started when the owner was looking for an Imam for his muslim employees. The owner has also arranged for a priest for the Hindu employees of the company. It’s incredible how the environment of mutual respect has been carried for more than a decade,” Abbas, hailing from Saharanpur and living in Bhangel village of Noida, said.
The Noida police had Monday had issued a notice to all companies in Sector 58 asking them to inform their Muslim employees not to offer namaz in the adjacent park, and that companies would be held “liable” in case of any violations. The park used to be frequented by hundreds of Muslim employees every Friday for the past five years.
Commenting on the controversy, Kadir Khan, an activist from Dankaur said, “Public parks are not meant for offering namaz, and one should either offer prayers in their homes or masjids. The gesture by owners is commendable, and speaks volumes about the ethos of our country.”