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Gurugram Namaz Row: Right-Wing Members Raise Slogans Again, a Few Detained

The protesters demonstrated at the Sector 37 praying site amid heavy police presence.

Updated
India
3 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

Reporter: Anthony Rozario

Over seven people were detained by the Gurugram police in Sector 37 on Friday, 3 December, as they raised slogans and attempted to protest against namaz being offered at the site by members of the Muslim community.

Slogans of 'Jai Shri Ram' were raised even while namaz was being offered amid heavy police presence. It is to be noted that the praying site, which has been operational for years, is close to the Sector 37 police station.

Among those detained is Bharat Mata Vahini leader Dinesh Bharti, who has been at the forefront of these protests across sites in Gurugram since September.

Around noon, several members of right-wing Hindu organisations gathered at the site, and could be seen arguing with police personnel. In a video, a protester can be heard saying that they will not move even if they get arrested and that the police should not try to "intimidate peaceful protesters."

"We are not doing anything wrong. This is a land in our village, how can you not allow us to come here?" said the protester, in a video from Sector 37 namaz site.

In a bid to disrupt prayers at the site, several protesters parked their trucks citing "parking issues" earlier in the day. Despite repeated requests from the police, the protesters did not leave from the namaz site.

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'Want To Avoid Confrontation,' Say Muslims

Ahead of the prayers, tension was building up, and Altaf Ahmad, a member of the Gurgaon Nagrik Ekta Manch told The Quint that some people from the Muslim community have decided not to pray at sites where Hindu right-wing groups create ruckus.

"Wherever the situation is expected to go out of hand, we have decided not to offer namaz at those sites. We want to avoid any kind of confrontation. If the police cannot arrest or take action against these hate-mongers, we will not go to those sites in order to avoid confrontation," he said.

"Today, it was a mayhem in Gurgaon at Sector 37 where Right Wing groups not only disrupted Juma Namaz but also stripped Muslims of praying with dignity. It is a deliberate attempt to disturb peaceful Juma Namaz and communal harmony of this cosmopolitan city," the Gurgaon Nagrik Ekta Manch's Ahmad said in a statement issued later in the day.

"Permission of Juma Namaz has been given by the Administration of Gurgaon in 2018, yet the fringe elements were allowed to reach the site of Juma Namaz while it was declared by Dinesh Bharti that he would disrupt namaz in Sector 37. It is shocking and a sad reflection of events in this millennium city of Gurgaon," the statement added.

Disruption Days After Complaint Against Hindu Right-Wing Leaders

Disruption of prayers has continued almost every Friday at several sites including Sector 47 and Sector 12 since September. One Friday, right-wing Hindu organisations performed a pooja at the Sector 12 site.

The incident on Friday took place just three days after a complaint was registered against three leaders of Hindu right-wing groups for allegedly making inflammatory speeches over the controversy.

In the complaint submitted to Deepak Saharan, DCP West Gurugram, the Jamait Ulama-i-Hind alleged that several Hindu right-wing leaders have deliberately been making provocative statements over the matter in an attempt to spread disharmony.

The police is yet to turn the complaint into a First Information Report (FIR). Despite repeated attempts, the DCP did not respond to calls and messages from The Quint.

On Wednesday, 1 December, several citizens' groups under the banner of Democratic Forum, staged protests outside the Gurugram Divisional Commissioner's office against attempts to disrupt peace in the city.

The protesters submitted a memorandum to tehsildar Darpan Singh Kamboj, to be given to the Haryana governor, demanding action against disruption of communal harmony.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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