Gurugram: Hindu groups occupy namaz site to prevent Friday prayers

Gurugram Sector 12A witnessed another attempt to prevent weekly Friday prayers in the area, as a group of people reportedly affiliated with Hindu groups occupied the site claiming to make a volleyball court.

The group of people gathered and sat around at the site designated for namaz early on Friday and claimed to be making a volleyball court, reported NDTV. It is the same site where the Hindu outfit Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samit organized Govardhan puja last week, which was attended by BJP leader Kapil Mishra. Cow dung cakes spread out for the puja remain untouched at the site. The incidents in effect prevented the congregational prayers.

Muslims, who have been facing backlash for the past few weeks for offering namaz at several sites in Gurugram, decided not to offer Friday prayers at this particular site this week, said the NDTV report.

Sector 12A is one among the 27 other spaces that were designated for namaz after similar clashes took place in 2018. A few of these designated spaces are in fact public places, including one space in Sector 47 whereas the rest are private properties.

Last week, Gurgaon authorities withdrew permissions of 8 of these designated sites after objections from certain groups. The authorities have also said that permissions for the other sites will also be withdrawn if similar “objections” take place.

“Consent from the administration is necessary for namaz in any public and open place,” it said, adding, “If local people have objections at other places also, permission will not be given,” they said.

On November 29 police detained and arrested 30 people for trying to disrupt the Friday prayers by shouting religious slogans and holding up placards that read, “Gurgaon administration, wake up from your sleep”.

Last month a number of protests took place in Sector 12A, 47, and several others against the Friday prayers, with protestors claiming that “Rohingya refugees” use the prayers as an excuse to commit crimes in the area.