An Imam leading the offering of namaz on private land in Gurugram’s Basai was detained by the city police on Friday for allegedly holding the prayer without prior permission from authorities. The landlord, Shri Krishan, was also detained.
The two were later let off after they gave in writing that they would not allow offering of namaz on the land in question.
Imam Abdul Wahid was leading the Friday prayers at Basai Chowk on Friday afternoon when a police team reached the spot and asked whether he had permission to hold namaz on the land.
Mr. Wahid told the police that the local Muslim committee had taken permission from Mr. Krishan and had paid rent to use the land.
The police, however, detained the Imam, as well as Mr. Krishan, and took them to Sector 9A police station.
The two were later released on intervention of Muslim Rashtriya Manch chief Hazi Shahzad Khan.
Angry and scared
Later, the Muslim community members held a meeting at Mr. Khan’s residence to express anger over the incident. The attendees said that the incident had led to a sense of fear in the community. The group said it has decided to meet Gurugram’s Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner on Saturday to seek protection and permission to offer namaz on the private land.
Gurugram police spokesperson Subhash Boken said the police team had gone to the spot after they received information that namaz was being offered without permission from the authorities.
He said that namaz could be held only at places designated by the local administration. This decision was made after controversy over the offering of namaz at public places earlier this year.
Mr. Boken said that prior permission was required for holding namaz in Gurugram since adequate security arrangements were required to be made and duty magistrates deployed to prevent any untoward incident.
He said that the landlord and the Imam were let off after they agreed to not to use the said land for offering of Friday prayers without permission. Mr. Boken said that the Imam was detained only after the namaz was offered.
Mr. Khan alleged that the police misbehaved with the Imam and kept him in custody for almost three hours.