Namaz: Protest over reduced sites at DC office


Gurgaon: Members of local Muslim organisations gathered outside deputy commissioner Yash Garg’s office on Tuesday to express their displeasure and apprehensions a day after outfits involved in official discussions on namaz sites indicated that the number of public spaces where Friday namaz can be offered in the city was likely to be reduced to six.
In a letter to Garg, the Gurgaon Muslim Council claimed that they felt “threatened” by the Sanyukt Hindu Sangarsh Samiti (SHSS), which has been spearheading protests against Friday prayers in open areas. Referring to the Muslim Rashtriya Manch (MRM), which is part of the talks on namaz sites, the protesters questioned how “a handful of maulvis claim to represent the 150+ maulvis, who had been organising peaceful and orderly Juma namaz for years”.
“Our repeated submissions to you that Muslims, in general, do not trust Muslim Rashtriya Manch or a handful of maulvis, and they are not the voice of genuine and reasonable Muslim citizens of Gurugram, has once again been ignored,” the letter stated.
The MRM, SHSS and Gurugram Imam Sanghatan are among the groups that have been involved in official discussions on namaz sites in the city. On Monday, after a meeting with Garg and DCP (west) Deepak Saharan, the outfits had claimed that the number of public spaces where namaz can be offered has been reduced to just six. However, there was no formal announcement by the district administration.
In 2018, after similar protests, the number of sites designated for namaz by the administration was brought down to 37 from 108. This November, the number of designated spaces was further curtailed to 20. “Anyone can come and say we represent the Muslim community and request on closing down all spaces for Namaz. Our question is, how can they entertain such elements?” Gurgon Muslim Council’s Altaf Ahmed said on Tuesday.
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