‘Friday namaz’ disrupted at 10 places in Gurugram by Hindutva groups

Gurugram: The ongoing ‘namaz’ in open spaces controversy was back to haunt Haryana’s Gurugram this Friday as number of Muslims who reached the HUDA ground for Friday prayers were turned back by police. They left without creating any ruckus.

By 1.30 pm on Friday, the recently launched Hindutva group Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, an umbrella body of the local units of 12 right-wing groups including the Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Shiv Sena, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Kranti Dal and the Hindu Jagran Manch managed to stop prayer meetings at 10 places.

There were disruptions to namaz at Wazirabad, Bakhtawar Chowk Atul Kataria Chowk, Cyber Park and at South City, the police said.

The local administration has assured the Samiti that there would not be ‘namaz’ prayers at the ground without prior permission from authorities.

A team of nearly 40 policemen, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Anil Yadav, was deployed at the ground in Wazirabad area and told them to go and pray in a mosque.

“Members of Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti have today [Friday] interfered in 10 cases where Muslims were found preparing before the namaaz. We did not let that happen. But no law and order issues were reported. Our demand was clear – get permission from the authorities,” said Rajeev Mittal, national coordinator of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Kranti Dal.

Controversy erupted two weeks ago when some locals objected to the namaaz, alleging that some people offering prayers were shooed away by six local youths with chants slogans like ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Radhe Radhe’ to disrupt the namaz. A video of the incident went viral on social media platforms.

On Thursday last week, six persons were arrested after a FIR was filed for allegedly disrupting the Muslim prayers at the ground in Sector 53 and threatening those offering prayers.

The FIR was registered against the five on charges of hurting religious feelings, disturbing religious worship and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code on a complaint by Wajid Khan and Nehru Yuva Sangathan Welfare Society Chairman Hazid Shahzad Khan.

Civil Judge Neetika Bharadwaj on Sunday granted bail to the six accused on technical grounds.