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Manohar Lal Khattar says namaz should be offered inside religious places like mosques, not public areas

Chandigarh: In the wake of alleged disruptions to namaz by right-wing groups at multiple locations in Gurugram, Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday said 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.

Right-wing outfits have been trying to "disrupt" Friday prayers in Gurugram over the last two weeks alleging that some people were trying to grab land.

File image of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar. PTI

File image of Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar. PTI

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

He was addressing a press conference before leaving for a ten-day tour of Israel and the United Kingdom.

Over the last two weeks, there were "disruptions" to namaz at Wazirabad, the Atul Kataria Chowk, the Cyber Park, the Bakhtawar Chowk and at the South City, the police said.

The disruptions were caused allegedly by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal, the Hindu Kranti Dal, the Gau Rakshak Dal and the Shiv Sena, they said.

Asked as to what would be the government's strategy to ensure law and order is maintained in view of such disruptions, Khattar said, "To maintain law and order is our duty and we will do it. We are ensuring that harmony is maintained and there is no tension and we have alerted our officials."

The BJP leader said the instances of namaz being offered at public places have been "increasing". The Friday prayers, he said, should be offered at designated places because certain individuals or departments may have objections to it being done at public areas.

"Till the time nobody raises objections (to namaz being offered at public places), it is okay," the chief minister said. "But if there are objections from any department or any individual, then we have to be careful."

Toon by Manjul.

Toon by Manjul.

He said the government was keeping a close watch on the issue.

"There has been an increase in this (instances of namaz being offered in public places). So we are keeping a watch on the issue (to ensure law and order is maintained). We are trying to make them understand by telling them that namaz should be offered at designated places and not public areas," Khattar said.

The right-wing groups have been saying that they would continue their protest if the administration did not stop "unauthorised" prayers at public places.

They say Muslim worshippers did not have permission to offer prayers at roadsides, parks and vacant government land in Gurugram.

Updated Date: May 07, 2018 15:39 PM

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