For nearly four weeks, residents of Gurgaon’s sector 47 have been protesting against the offering of namaz in an open designated site. Meanwhile the prayers are being offered under police protection.
Residents of sector 47 and members of the Resident Welfare Association (RWA) decided to halt their protest for two weeks on Monday, 18 October, after meeting the deputy commissioner who assured for a possible solution, Indian Express reported.
The meeting came three days after the residents had allegedly tried to disrupt the Friday prayers. On 15 October, the protesting residents had gathered near the site at 12.40 pm and sang bhajans on a mic and a portable speaker, and had also raised slogans against the government for failing to stop namaz in public spaces.
Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner, Yash Garg, was quoted as saying, “I have discussed the matter with the residents. In the coming days, we will have a dialogue with all community members to resolve the issue”, Indian Express reported.
What Are the Residents Saying?
President of the sector 47 RWA, Sunil Yadav, said, “We met the DC to discuss our concerns. The DC has asked us to stop the protests for two weeks till Diwali to discuss and resolve the issue. We have requested the officials to shift the location of Friday namaz prayers to an alternate site or a community centre. We will wait and see if the matter is resolved.”
Meanwhile, the residents have laid several accusations, including security and traffic concerns, and called for the IDs of those coming to pray to be checked.
BS Yadav, a resident of the sector said, “Check their ID cards, who knows where they come from? These people can also all be terrorists. Why aren’t their IDs being checked?”, Newslaundry reported.
The police meanwhile, have had to shift the prayer site twice after residents protested at the site.
Another resident, a 24-year-old teacher was quoted as saying, “Because of the Muslim people roaming around the Sector, it is very uncomfortable for us to live over here. We don’t mind if they just do namaz and go but they are roaming in the Sector, peeping into people’s houses.”
The site in sector 47 however, is among the list of 37 designated sites where prayers could be offered in the open, as was ‘negotiated’ after disruptions in 2018, Indian Express reported.
Residents however claim that the permission granted was only for a day.
Meanwhile, urging the administration to initiate a dialogue with people and resident associations, members of the Gurgaon Nagrik Ekta Manch, a citizen’s forum, submitted a letter to the deputy commissioner on Tuesday, saying that people were being “misled into becoming a part of a malicious campaign to create a wedge between residents of Gurgaon”, Indian Express reported.
The issue was discussed last week between members of both communities, however, no conclusion was reached.
Members of the Muslim community have claimed that this became an issue only in the past few weeks, as an attempt of some people to gain political mileage by creating the ruckus.
(With inputs from The Indian Express and Newslaundry.)