Hyderabad: After repeated attempts by right-wing groups in Gurgaon to prevent the Muslim community from offering their namaz (prayers), five gurudwaras in Gurgaon offered their land for the same. However, namaz did not take place at any of the gurudwaras. It is alleged that right-wing groups have been pressurising gurudwaras to not allow Friday prayers.
Two weeks ago a civilian named Akshay Yadav offered his vacant shop so that the Muslim community could offer prayers without disturbance. However, taking into view the lack of space, the gestures by the gurudwaras and Yadav are a short-term solution.
As reported by the Indian Express, the police said that around 15 to 20 people have offered namaz at a playground in Sector 37. A group of protesters however claimed that they wanted to play cricket at the site. Police at the spot took them to Sector 10 police station and discussed the matter. The protesters reportedly told the police that they would not allow namaz at the site from next week. The site is on a list of places previously agreed upon by the administration where namaz could be offered. Police said while some people were able to offer namaz, others had to leave.
The Gurgaon Muslim councillor, Altaf Ahmed stated that “Since yesterday, members of right-wing groups were using condemnable tactics to mount pressure on the Committee of the Gurdwara to stop Muslims from offering Jumma namaz… Since today was a big festival of the Sikh community, a huge rush of devotees was expected and we didn’t want to jeopardise security. Hence, the committee of Gurdwara Sahib and Gurgaon Muslim Council took a decision this morning to not offer namaz in the gurdwara this week.”
The district administration this month pulled out permission for namaz at eight sites out of 37 sites, citing objections from locals.
Former Rajya Sabha MP Mohammad Adeeb said that “When the gurdwara offered their premises, radicals pressured them. Last night, we got to know of this and realised the gurdwara was under pressure. They initially said we could offer namaz in a nearby school. But if there is mischief… the public will be at the gurdwara. We told them we won’t inconvenience them. So, we went to thank them after the namaz.” he also offered his prayer in the shop.
“Christians have also extended support. It’s a gracious gesture on the part of Akshay Yadav, Sikhs and Christians to open up their places. But we realise it is not a long-term solution. Muslims will have to find ways to make sure the large population of Gurgaon can offer namaz here either by getting land from the government or private land where we can pray with dignity,” said Altaf.