In a major letdown for law-abiding citizens, the Haryana BJP government led by CM ML Khattar today deployed a massive police force to ensure that Friday namaz in public spaces and on roads goes off without a hitch in Gurugram, despite massive protests by local residents.
“People have offered namaz in 37 designated places (and) full protection will be given to people who are offering namaz.” Gurgaon SDM Anita Chaudhary said as per anti-Hindu propaganda outlet NDTV.
Police were deployed in large numbers in Sector 12-A and around 30 protesters were detained.
Around 500 police personnel were deployed at five ‘namaz spots’, reported Hindustan Times. By this, it would appear that Hindus had major objections to namaz at those 5 out of total 37 such sites, yet administration was unwilling to listen to Hindu protests.
K Rao, the commissioner of police, said that following clear instructions from the chief minister on the matter, the police will ensure there is no disruption to the ‘ongoing arrangements’. Police crime investigation agency (CIA) teams were deployed at the spots from early morning Friday to keep a close watch on the movement of people visiting the area.
Yash Garg, the deputy commissioner of Gurugram, said that they have assigned duties (to check law and order) and deployed duty magistrates at all sensitive spots. “We are having elaborate security arrangements and will ensure safety and security of people offering namaz,” he said.
Union Minister Krishan Pal Gurjar – the junior Social Justice minister – said people must be allowed to pray if the sites had, in fact, been ‘designated’ for such purposes.
Who is protesting and why?
In 2018, after protests by Hindus, and even the Gurguram Bar Association, against public spaces being usurped for namaz, the district administration claims they “designated 37 sites in the city for Muslims to offer Friday prayers after talks between Hindu and Muslims”. But it was never made clear who those Hindu community representatives were who gave their consent.
Back then, CM Khattar had stated that namaz should ideally be offered in mosques, idgahs, and private spaces, and it is ok in public spaces only ‘if no one objects’. Some time later, after facing flak from media, he backtracked to say that the issue of Muslims offering prayers at open places was being “politicised” by some people.
Now, he seems to have caved in completely by overruling Hindu resident objections and concerns.
A consortium of Hindu groups and resident associations, under the banner of Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, had restarted their protests few months back. Residents and locals joined the protest, chanting Hindu prayers at the time of namaz on consecutive Fridays over the past few weeks.
Arya Kendriya Sabha, a central organisation of Arya Samaj branches, has also submitted a memorandum to the district administration demanding a complete ban on namaz in the open. “We demand a complete ban on namaz in the open to maintain peace and harmony in the city,” said Laxman Pahuja, a member.
In September, during a protest held in Sector 47, Hindus had expressed their opposition to the namaz, arguing why such weekly religious activity cannot be confined to mosques or homes.
“We read Hanuman chalisa and pray in temples. Do they (Muslims) find only these public places? They misbehave and harass our girls who are passing by. We are afraid of them. Some of them come from Mewat…They have a mosque on the highway just 2 km from here. This sir (pointing at a police officer) doesn’t have the courage to tell them to go and offer namaz there. I don’t have a temple here, but if I start doing worship on this ground they (police) will catch me by the neck. But they are unable to move even one Muslim,” were some of the points raised by residents.
Others stated that public namaz leads to encroachment of land by eventually constructing dargahs or other Islamic religious structure – a known fact which can be observed across the country.
Islamist ideologues advocate public namaz by blocking roads and other public spots as an area domination exercise, similar to the use of loudspeakers to blare the azaan, or Muslim call to prayers, 5 times a day. The creeping sharia method of salami slicing public land has been used for decades by Islamists and the results can be seen from TN to Assam.
It is pertinent to note that just 50 km from Gurugram is Nuh, the heart of the the Muslim-dominated Mewat region. Muslims number around 80% in Nuh district, and Hindus are persecuted mercilessly there on religious grounds. The Tablighi Jamaat was established in Mewat region in 1926 to revive ‘true’ Islam and purge it of all ‘corrupt’ (read Hindu) influences. There have been cases of Hindus there being threatened against following any religious rituals and even going to temple.
Many Hindus living in Mewat are SCs. A 4-member committee led by Justice Pawan Kumar formed by the Shri Valmiki Mahasabha of Haryana had probed the persecution of Hindus there and stated that Mewat is becoming a graveyard of Hindus and there are many reports of women being abducted, raped and forcibly converted in the region.
It is a known fact that several illegal Bangladeshi and Rohingya Muslim immigrants find safe haven in Mewat and parts of Delhi-NCR including Gurugram. There are several parts of Delhi such as Sundar Nagari, Brahmpuri etc where Hindus are being forced to sell houses and leave due to similar Islamist tactics of dominating public spaces, objecting to Hindu temple bells and prayers, sexual harassment of girls etc. Given this situation, it is natural for local Hindus to feel threatened and fight the spread of Islamic supremacism.
Even some Muslims are objecting, while Islamists issue threats
Muslim groups said there is need for ‘police protection’ at five ‘namaz spots’: at DLF Phase-3, Sector 12A, Sector 14, Sector 56 and Sector 47. They have called more people from neighbouring Nuh and Pataudi ‘for support’. Haji Shehzad Khan, the chairman of Muslim Ekta Manch, said, “If they (Hindu groups) shout slogans, we will not sit silent.”
On Thursday, furniture shop owner Mehmood Khan in Sector 12 complained to the police of namaz being forcefully offered in front of his shop. “A group of Muslims has been offering namaz in front of my furniture shop for the past few months. I had requested maulvi in the past not to conduct Friday prayers here, but they ignored my request stating that they were not offering prayer on private land but on government land,” he said.
A complaint in this regard was lodged at the Sector 14 police station. However, no case was registered till Thursday evening.