Gurgaon: Namaz offered to the businessman’s shop, not gurdwara; demonstrations on another prayer site
Around 2 p.m., the shutters of the shop were opened. Yadav, a businessman, was out of town. The carpets had already been laid out.
Former Rajya Sabha MP Mohammad Adeeb, who offered namaz in the store, said: “When the gurdwara offered their premises, the radicals put pressure on them. Last night we learned of this and realized that the gurdwara was under pressure. They first said that we could do namaz at a nearby school. But if there is any misdeed… the public will be at the gurdwara. We told them we won’t bother them. So we went to thank them after the namaz.
In a statement, Altaf Ahmad of the Muslim Council of Gurgaon said: “Since yesterday, members of right-wing groups have used reprehensible tactics to pressure the Gurdwara Committee to prevent Muslims from offering Jumma namaz… Since today hui was a big festival of the Sikh community, a huge influx of worshipers was expected and we did not want to compromise safety. Therefore, the Gurdwara Sahib and Gurgaon Muslim Council committee made the decision this morning not to offer namaz in the gurdwara this week.
In Sector 37, 15 to 20 people disrupted the proposed namaz at a playground, police said, adding that protesters said they wanted to play cricket at the site. The police at the scene took them to the Sector 10 police station and discussed the matter. Protesters reportedly told police they would not allow namaz at the site from next week. The site is on a list of places previously agreed by the administration where namaz could be offered. Police said if some people could offer namaz, others had to leave.
Asif Khan, a trader at the Sector 12 auto market, said that most of the people offering namaz at Yadav’s store work in the market or in nearby stores: “We also prayed here last week. The week before we prayed outside where trouble was created. About 35 to 40 people offered prayers in Yadav’s shop.
“Christians have also extended their support. It is a gracious gesture on the part of Akshay Yadav, and Sikhs and Christians to open their places. But we realize that is not a long term solution. Muslims will have to find ways to ensure that the large population of Gurgaon can offer namaz here either by obtaining government land or private land where we can pray with dignity, ”Altaf said.
Earlier this month, the district administration withdrew namaz permission to 8 of 37 designated prayer sites, citing residents’ objections.
Daya Singh, President of the All India Peace Mission and Gurdwara Committee Spokesperson Sri Guru Singh Sabha Prabandhak said, “Today was Gurupurab and there was a stampede. The principle of gurdwara is that if they have no place elsewhere, the gurdwara is open to everyone.