Islamophobia continues in Sector 12A in Haryana’s Gurgaon, as members apparently affiliated with Hindu groups on Friday, 12 November, occupied the namaz site to stop Muslims from praying and insisted on building a volleyball court instead.
Members of the group claimed to be making a volleyball court on Friday, while they prevented prayers from taking place.
One of the members, Parmila Chahar was quoted by NDTV as saying, "We are sitting here quietly... but will not allow prayers. We will plan for a game here."
Similarly, another reiterated that a volleyball court will be set up but they (members of the Hindu group) will not allow namaz under any conditions.
On Friday, 5 November, a day after Diwali, a group of women from the Durga Vahini outfit were sculpting a replica of Lord Krishna lifting the Govardhan hill at one corner of the open space, with a stage and chairs being erected next to it.
The replica, made of cow dung, was at the exact spot on the land where Muslims would offer Friday prayers. The motive of the puja was to intensify the protests against namaz being offered in open spaces in Gurugram, that has seen disruptions of several prayers for weeks now.
The protests received political backing, when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders Kapil Mishra and Suraj Pal Amu marked their presence at the event, along with senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Surendra Jain.
Last week’s event was organised by the Sanyukta Hindu Sangharsh Samiti (SHSS), an umbrella body that comprises 22 Hindu right-wing outfits like the Bajrang Dal, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Kranti Dal, Arya Samaj, Durga Vahini, and Sanatan Dharam among others.
Both Mishra and Amu have created headlines in the past for their hate speeches.
After last week’s puja, rows of cow dung cakes were spread on the site. On 12 November, they remain untouched.
The site in Sector 12A is one of 29 "designated" for offering namaz after an agreement between Hindus and Muslims following similar clashes in 2018.
There were 37 designated sites until 2 November, when the Gurugram administration withdrew permission to offer namaz at eight sites, after a complaint was lodged by some locals.
Read The Quint’s report from the ground on the puja held at the site last week.
(With inputs from NDTV)