The Gurgaon administration has finally withdrawn permission for Muslims to offer namaz at eight of 37 “designated” prayer sites that were agreed upon in the wake of similar events in 2018.
The administration said permission had been canceled after objections from local residents and warned that if similar objections were raised at other prayer sites, it will not permit the public namaz at those locations too. Gurgan residents and several Hindu groups have been protesting against the public namaz at public grounds for several weeks.
The Administration said that “consent from the administration is must for namaz in any public and open place, and If local people have any sort of objections at other places also, permission will not be given to offering namaz there too.”
Four of the eight sites are Bengali Basti (Sector 49), Block V of DLF Phase 3, Surat Nagar Phase 1, and an area near the DLF Square Tower on Jacaranda Marg. The others are on the outskirts of the Kherki Majra and Daulatabad villages, near the Ramgarh village in Sector 68, and an area between Rampur village and Nakhrola Road. Namaz can be offered at mosques or Eidgah, in a private space, or at a designated site – of which there are now only 29.
Gurgaon’s Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg has constituted a committee, that will hold discussions on identifying places to offer namaz. The committee consists of a Sub Divisional Magistrate, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, and members of both religious organizations and civil society groups.
The committee will also ensure namaz is not offered on roads or public places, and prior consent is taken from locals at the time of designating a spot for offering prayers. The administration has also called upon religious communities to maintain law and order; extensive security arrangements have been made by the police in this regard.
On several occasions over the past few weeks, residents of some Gurgaon neighborhoods and members of right-wing groups have protested against Friday namaz at public grounds. Last week 30 people were detained after protests in Sector 12-A, where namaz was being offered on private property.
Local residents are staging a protest against Friday namaz at a ground in Sector 47 for the fourth consecutive week by performing puja. It seems the pressure tactics have worked and Administration has to mend its ways to sort out the issue. Public places should not be used to offer namaz, and this rule shall be followed everywhere.