Gurugram: 76 duty magistrates to supervise Friday namaz after threats from right-wing groups

In view of right-wing groups threatening to enforce a ban on performing Friday namaz in open spaces, the Gurugram administration has appointed 76 duty magistrates to supervise the Friday prayers offered by Muslims, according to media reports.

The administration has chalked out security arrangements for seventy-six open spaces in the city where the Friday prayers will be conducted, according to The Indian Express.

The Times of India reported that the administration had held discussions with various groups, including a panel of fifteen Muslims that had been formed to cut down on the number of open sites where namaz is offered. It, however, decided to allow Friday prayers at all seventy-six open spaces because there was no consensus on the new sites that are to be officially selected.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Earlier, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had created a controversy when he asserted that namaz should not be offered in "public areas". In the wake of alleged disruptions to namaz by right-wing groups at multiple locations in Gurugram, the chief minister had said that such congregations should be restricted to mosques, eidgahs or private places, even as he asserted the government will ensure that law and order is maintained.

"Our point of view is that namaz should be offered in the precincts of religious places like mosques and eidgahs, and if there is a shortage of place for offering namaz, it should be done at private places," Khattar had said.

Members of the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, a conglomeration of the city’s right-wing groups had, on Tuesday, asserted that if the district administration failed to implement a complete ban on namaz in open spaces on Friday, they would take action to forcibly ensure it, The Hindu had reported.

Gurugram has witnessed several disruptions of namaz, beginning from 20 April when a group of Muslim men who had gathered at a ground to offer Friday prayers were disrupted by men shouting “Jai Shri Ram”, who asked the gathering to leave, according to News18.

On 26 April, six men were arrested for the disruption. Last week, too, there were reports of incidents of disruption in several parts of Gurugram.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: May 11, 2018 12:29 PM

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