Gurugram: The Gurgaon Muslim Council on Monday said that they are preparing a petition to be filed in the Supreme Court “this week” against the vigilantism and hate crimes by right-wing Hindu outfits who have been opposing the Friday namaz in open spaces in the city.
The Gurgaon Muslim Council on Monday said that they are preparing a petition to be filed in the Supreme Court “this week” against the vigilantism and hate crimes by right-wing Hindu outfits who have been opposing the Friday namaz in open spaces in the city.
Hindu outfits said they will file a counter petition, if the Muslims approach the apex court.
Altaf Ahmad, spokesperson for the council, said, “We are approaching the apex court against the vigilantism and hate crime that is being witnessed every Friday.”
A delegation of the council went to meet the Guruguram deputy commissioner Yash Garg, but when they couldn’t meet him, they said that their next course of action would be approach the apex court and seek its intervention for getting spaces in Gurugram to establish mosques, Ahmad said.
Deepak Saharan, deputy commissioner of police (West), said the council members came to meet him as well, and asked him about allocation of open spaces for offering namaz coming Friday. “I have no idea since it will be decided by the district administration, so I asked them to meet the deputy commissioner, and get clarity regarding the sites,” he said.
Deputy commissioner Garg could not be reached for a comment despite repeated attempts.
The protest against Friday namaz in open public spaces has been taking place in Gurugram for the last three years. In 2018, the administration designated 37 sites for Muslims to perform the Friday prayers. However, in November this year, the number of sites was cut down to 20 after members of the right-wing outfits continued to protest and disrupt prayers.
However, these sites were also cancelled after Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said that offering namaz in public places cannot be tolerated. The chief minister directed that the administration should resolve the issue, and assign other sites.
Mohammad Adeeb, a former Rajya Sabha member, who is leading a 21-member committee to resolve the ongoing issue, wrote to the deputy commissioner on Monday, and said that after Khattar announced that the permission for prayer in the open places has been withdrawn, new places were to be discussed and provided. “We would like to know whether the administration has allotted new places for Juma namaz, if so then which are these places,” he said in the letter.
As a resident of Gurugram, I wanted to know how many places in the 113 sectors of the city have been allotted to Hindu temples and community centres; how many to churches and gurudwaras and how many places have been allocated to mosques, Adeeb said in the letter.
Council spokesperson Altaf Ahmad said if the administration will now provide them the details of places allotted to places of worship in the city, they will file a right to information plea. “We need cooperation and support of the administration for reaching an amicable solution,” he said.
Community members have claimed that there are nearly 500,000 Muslims who stay or work in Gurugram, and there are only two mosques in new Gurugram and 11 in the old city with a total capacity of 15,000 people. So, even if Juma namaz is performed in several jamaats (shifts), it would not be enough for all.
Kulbhushan Bhardwaj, legal advisor to Sanyukt Hindu Sangarsh Samiti, an umbrella organisation of Hindu bodies leading the protests against Friday namaz, said, “We are not aware of any petition. If they are filing a petition, then we will reply to the notice, and will also file petition against them,” he said.
This story first appeared on hindustantimes.com