Namaz row: Noida Police issues clarification

Noida: After UP Police stirred controversy over ‘Namaz row’ serving notices to companies holding them liable and responsible if their Muslim employees are found offering namaz in public park, Senior Police officials in Noida said the move was not a discriminatory one.

Gautam Budh Nagar’s district magistrate BN Singh said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ajay Pal Sharma said the move to stop namaz in the park was not discriminatory as the officers on duty in Noida comes under Gautam Budh Nagar.

“As per the Supreme Court order in 2009, to hold any religious ceremony in public place, it is essential to seek permission from the police and administration. There was no malafide intention in the notice and the police officers were doing their duty, following the orders of the SC,” said Singh.

The notice to companies by the in-charge of Sector 58 police station is alleged to be discriminatory to that Mr Singh replied: “I beg to differ because at the beginning of the notice it has been stated that no permission has been granted by the administration to hold any sort of religious gathering.”

In the notice, station house officer Pankaj Rai had said companies in Sector 58 will be held responsible if their employees are found violating the order.

“It has to made aware that the administration has not given any permission to hold any kind of religious activity, wherein offering Friday prayers, in the park in Sector 58. It has been often noticed that some of your Muslim employees gather in the park in Sector 58 to offer namaz on Fridays,” Rai’s notice read.

“They have been asked publicly by me not to do so and who have not been given any permission by the city magistrate on their earlier application,” Rai said, HT reports.

“Please ask all your Muslim employees not to offer namaz in the park. If they still go to the park to offer prayers, then your company will be held responsible for the violation,” continued the notice.

The letter seeking permission to offer namaz in the public park of Sector 58 signed by 200-300 people was sent to the city magistrate and Police around December 8.

“The permission to hold namaz was not granted by the city magistrate and police officials conveyed the decision to the people who had gathered in the park. The move was not discriminating against any community,” said Sharma.