No namaz in parks: Noida-police says companies won't be liable
In a damage control mode after an earlier order claimed companies would be liable if their employees offered namaz in parks, the Noida police have now retracted the same. District magistrate BN Singh said companies and business houses aren't responsible for the religious beliefs of their employees, and the administration will speak to them to clear the doubts. Here's all about it.
The order was signed by SHO of a police station
To recall, Pankaj Rai, in-charge of Noida Sector 58 police station, gave a notice that sparked outrage. Rai said authorities haven't given permission to hold any religious activities. "Please ask all your Muslim employees not to offer namaz in the park. If they still go to the park to offer prayers, then your company will be held responsible for the violation," the order read.
Offer namaz within office compound, or roofs, the order said
Rai had defended the move saying it was taken keeping in mind communal tension before the Lok Sabha elections 2019. He claimed the size of gathering went from 15-20 to 500 lately. "We have sent notices to those companies to ask their employees to either offer namaz in a mosque, Eidgah or within the office compound, on the roof, etc," he said.
"No functions can be organized in park"
The notice found its support in 2009 Supreme Court order which highlighted religious activity at a public place would require permission from authorities. Rai said if someone wanted to organize a puja in the park, tensions could spark. "It is a Noida Authority park where no function like weddings, etc can be organized. Whether Hindu or Muslim, such functions will be stopped," he said.
After flak, district magistrate says order's intentions weren't malafide
However, Adil Rashid, who organizes the Friday prayers in the park, alleged that a man donning a saffron scarf had recorded videos of the gathering. He had threatened to stop the practice and Rashid claimed the order came after this incident. Just as the order drew flak, district magistrate Singh said it didn't stem from malafide intentions and concerned only Sector-58 park, not the entire city.