Controversy over namaz at 2 societies in Noida, Gr Noida (The Indian Express)

In the wake of the festive season, Gautam Buddh Nagar police had imposed prohibitory orders on March 1 under Section 144 of the CrPC across the district and restricted public gatherings. The orders will remain in force till March 31.

A controversy erupted over offering namaz at two different housing societies in Gautam Buddh Nagar earlier this week.

While one of the incidents took place at Supertech Eco Village II in Greater Noida, around 8.30 pm on Monday, the second was reported from Supertech Ecociti in Noida Sector 137 around 8 pm on March 24. In both cases, police said no complaint has been filed.

Regarding the first incident, police said in a statement that around 30-40 Muslim residents at Eco Village II were offering prayers in a vacant room on the third floor above the commercial market of the society. On being informed about some controversy in the society, Bisrakh police officers went to the spot.

“The Hindu community said they have no objection to people in their society offering namaz, but they objected to the fact that 6-7 people from other societies were coming to offer namaz. On this objection, the Muslim community decided that namaz will not be offered at that place. Both sides agreed to this. Peace and order are maintained at the spot,” it said.

Officials also said additional police presence was deployed at the spot as a precautionary measure.

At Ecociti, Muslim residents alleged that Taraweeh, a special namaz during Ramzan, was disrupted by 8-10 residents.

A Muslim resident and lawyer of the society, who did not wish to be named, said: “There is a small party hall on the first floor adjoining the bigger hall (dome) of the society. We had permission from the Estate Manager to hold a religious congregation for 20 days for two hours daily (8 pm-10 pm). We also had the permission to hold prayers with 35-50 people.”

He alleged, “That day, there were around 30 people in the hall including women and children. Suddenly, 8-10 people from the society came and asked us to stop. Then a police officer came and said we will have to take permission from police. We will do that as well, but the bigger concern is that where are we heading? We also give donations if there is any programme in the mandir. We were just silently praying, what harm was it doing?”

He said they are in the process of getting permission from police.

A police officer said: “A police team was on patrol and we saw that a programme was taking place where 25-30 people had gathered. Since CrPC Section 144 is imposed in the area, permission has to be taken from the ACP office before such a programme can be held. We have not received any complaints of namaz disruptions. The Muslim group agreed to take police clearance.”…

This story was originally published in Read the full story here

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