New Delhi: A day after Noida police prohibited offering of Friday prayers by Muslims in a public park, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that Uttar Pradesh police would shower petals on kanwariyas (Shiva devotees), but told the Muslims that whatever they did, it was their fault.
Drawing a comparison between the police’s stance on Muslims and kanwariyas, Owaisi tweeted, “UP Cops literally showered petals for Kanwariyas, but namaz once a week can mean “disrupting peace & harmony”. This is telling Muslims: aap kuch bhi karlo, ghalti to aapki hi hogi (No matter what you do, it will be your fault). Also, by law, how does one hold an MNC liable for what their employees do in individual capacity?”
The directive was conveyed by the police in Sector 58 of Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi, to a private company, saying its employees were found to be offering Friday prayers without authorisation from the administration.
“It is to inform you that there is no permission from the administrative authorities for any kind of religious activity including the ‘namaz’ offered on Fridays in the park situated in Sector 58.
“It has often been seen that the Muslim workers of your company assemble in the park to offer Namaz. It is expected that you inform your employees to not come to the park to offer Namaz,” said a directive issued by Pankaj Rai, SHO of Sector-58 Police Station, Noida.
It added that “if employees still continue to come to the park, it will be assumed that you have not informed your employees and you will be held liable.”
As the matter became public, Senior Superintendent of Police of Noida Ajay Pal Sharma said the notification was not directed against any particular religion or group.
Speaking to ANI, SSP Singh had said, “A few people had asked for permission for offering religious prayers in a park in Sector 58. In spite of no permission granted from the city magistrate office, people congregated there. The companies in the area were informed about it. The information is not specific to any particular religion or group.”
Earlier in August, an Additional Director General of the Uttar Pradesh Police, Prashant Kumar, was seen showering rose petals on a procession of kanwariyas from a helicopter.