500 cops to guard namaz spots in Gurugram after threats
Nearly 500 police personnel will be deployed at five spots in Gurugram where Muslims offer namaz (prayers) on Friday. The heavy security deployment has come after Hindu groups threatened to disrupt prayers held in the open. Tensions between Hindu and Muslim groups have been soaring in the city over the issue of Friday prayers. Here are more details on this.
Why does this story matter?
The heavy police deployment is aimed at avoiding violent or other untoward incidents in Gurugram during the Friday prayers. In 2018, the district administration had designated 37 sites in the city for offering Friday prayers following which Hindu groups had staged protests. Such protests restarted earlier this year and have intensified in the recent weeks.
Muslims say protection needed at 5 sites
Members of Muslim groups said there is need for police protection at five prayer sites, viz., DLF Phase-3, Sector 12A, Sector 14, Sector 56, and Sector 47. They have also called more people from the neighboring Nuh and Pataudi areas for support. Earlier, a prayer site at Sector 47 was reallocated to another in Sector 12A due to protests from Hindu groups.
'We won't sit silent if targeted'
"If they (Hindu groups) shout slogans, we will not sit silent...We don't want any confrontation and conflict; we are ready to relocate to another place provided the administration can guarantee peace," Haji Shehzad Khan, the chairman of the Muslim Ekta Manch, said.
What do the Hindu groups want?
Meanwhile, Arya Kendriya Sabha has submitted a memorandum to the district administration demanding a ban on Friday prayers in the open. On Tuesday, Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti had met the Gurugram Deputy Commissioner raising the same demand. "We are ready for lathis, we are ready to go to jail...But this will not be tolerated," said Mahavir Bhardwaj, the state chief of the Hindu group.
What is the police's preparation?
Yash Garg, the Deputy Commissioner of Gurugram, said they have deployed duty magistrates at all sensitive spots. The Crime Investigation Agency (CIA) teams will also be deployed, the police said. "We will not allow anyone to disrupt the Friday prayers and we will not let people to take the law into their hands," said Aman Yadav, the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Sadar).
Everyone has a right to pray: CM
On October 16, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said, "Everyone has a right to pray. No one should hurt the sentiments of others, nor should anyone disrupt the prayers." "The administration is handling the situation and I have asked them to resolve the issue amicably with agreement of all parties," he said after a meeting of the grievance redressal committee in Gurugram.