A distressing video appeared on social media that showed people in Gurugram, Haryana, in a state of discomfort and fear caused by public offering of Namaz by some Muslims in the area.
The video showed people protesting against the public namaz (salah in Arabic) and a man arguing with the police saying, “Asking questions does not mean instigating riots.” He raises the safety concern for women in the area.
The nan asks why the police detained a person who was protesting against the namaz in a public place. The man claims that there was a mosque within a distance of km from that place. He criticises the police for not being able to take any action.
Another man says, “We pray Hanuman Chalisa at the temples but these people gather around here like this, misbehaving with our daughters and sisters, we are scared of them.”
According to Hindu groups, Muslims perform public namaz in a bid to encroach land illegally by eventually constructing dargahs on such spots. Residents say that the women feel threatened seeing so many men of a different faith gather in the middle of a road, in a public park or somewhere in a market. “Ever since this namaz on the roads has started, incidents of chain snatching, eve teasing have increased. This illegal namaz on roads should be stopped,” a local resident said. “We will not let illegal masjid or mazar come up here,” another resident said.
“The way the Meerut girl was killed and the Faridabad girl was killed, same fate awaits our daughters,” one of the local residents opposing the public namaz said. “Police is not doing anything because they have orders from the top to take action against us instead,” he said.
People living in Gurugram Sector 47 were disturbed by this large gathering of Muslim men in their neighbourhood for namaz. It was a public place. Some locals gathered and protested against the Muslim men crowding around their place and accused them of breaking law and order.
Gurugram is not new to the sight of public namaz as much as to that of protests against the anarchist act. In March, local residents had protested against public namaz offering in Sector 40, Gurugram, when Hindu organisations had appealed to administration to seek discontinuation of prayer. In May 2018, too, namaz was read in public space at as many as 76 locations in Gurugram under heavy police arrangement amid protests by people against it.