Sumedha Sharma Gurugram, May 5 2018
The Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti stopped Muslims from offering ‘namaz’ at 10 places here on Friday. Some of the places were Atul Kataria Chowk, Sikanderpur, Cyber Park Sector 40, Wazirabad, Mehrauli-Gurugram road and IFFCO Chowk.
The city woke up to a tense Friday with all eyes on a vacant plot in Wazirabad village, from where the controversy had started.On April 20, hundreds of Muslims gathered to offer “namaz” were stopped by six local youths.
A video of the incident went viral on social media. On its basis, the youths were arrested, but bailed out later.A week later, Muslims offered “namaz” at the Sector 53 ground with the police deployed nearby.
Irked, residents of Wazirabad and Kanhai villages insisted that if “namaz” was offered today (May 4), they would organise a “havan”.As a precautionary measure, the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has put up a board in Wazirabad village, announcing that the property belongs to them. It banned trespassing.
As a result, the prayer meeting was called off. Muslims claimed they were scared of an attack by Hindu groups.“We could not have taken risk as we knew that if we gathered today, they will attack us. So we cancelled the meeting,”
said one of the organisers of prayer meeting.Later, members of Hindu group visited other “namaz” spots in the city and asked Muslims to leave if they did not have permission.“We had asked the administration to stop unauthorised gatherings and encroachment of land, but no step was taken.
So we took things in our hands. We are not against any religion or the right to prayer, but one cannot disrupt public life or halt traffic or occupy open spaces. The administration should check whether Muslims gathered to offer ‘namaz’ are residents of Gurugram or illegal immigrants from Bangladesh,” said Vikram Singh, a member of the samiti.
“No major action has been taken on our memorandum submitted to the authorities recently, but the installation of the board in Wazirabad village is a victory for us,” said Rajeev Mittal, coordinator, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Kranti Dal.He admitted that members of the Dal discouraged “unauthorised” meetings on Friday, but claimed everything was peaceful.
Sources, however, said a minor instance of disruption was reported at Sikanderpur Metro station. Samiti members, in three to four vehicles, reached there and asked Muslims to leave. The police had to step in. But before they could help, Muslims were too terrified to continue the prayer.
Administration silentThe district administration continues to be silent on the matter, but the police said there was no disruption of law and order on Friday. “Our duty is to maintain law and order and we did that perfectly. The right to grant permission for prayer meetings rests with the administration,” said police spokesperson Ravinder Kumar.( The Tribune )