The Chief Minister (CM) of the Indian state Haryana, Manohar Lal Khattar said that namaz should not be offered in the open, adding that an earlier decision where some sites had been reserved for the purpose had been withdrawn, reports The Indian Express.
Khattar said the government had informed the police and the deputy commissioner that the issue needed to be resolved. “To resolve it, everyone offers prayers at their own place. Such practices should not take place in the open. This practice of offering namaz prayers here in the open will not be tolerated,” he stated.
“They (Muslims) have said that they have several places where they should be given permission to pray. Some of their properties or those under Waqf board are encroached up, how they can be made available to them is being discussed. Or they can offer prayers in their homes. Offering namaz in the open and this confrontation, we will not allow this confrontation to continue,” Khattar said.
The announcement came after tension in Gurgaon city, where Hindu groups in several episodes disrupted Muslim Friday prayers and put pressure on authorities to stop Muslims from offering the prayers in open spaces.
Talking about the withdrawal of the agreement, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Khattar said, “A decision had been taken earlier after consultation, but that decision too where some spots had been reserved, we have withdrawn it. Now, talks will be conducted with a fresh approach again. Everyone should get the facility. No one’s rights should be infringed, but no one will be forced.”
Authorities there had reached an agreement in 2018 in which Muslims were allowed to offer prayers at designated areas in the city.
While the CM meeting was on, some local residents and members of pro-Hindutva groups occupied the area outside the Sector 37 police station, which had been reserved for namaz prayers.
It is reported that the group conducted a “condolence meet” to mourn the demise of Chief of Defence Staff of the Indian Armed Forces (CDS) Bipin Rawat and other defence personnel who were killed in a helicopter crash.
The group also chanted slogans of “Jai Shree Ram” (Hail Lord Ram) and “Bharat Mata ki Jai” (Hail Mother India) at the site.