Delhi

Organiser asks Muslims not to gather at park for prayers

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It was declared off-limits to religious gatherings; cops to monitor situation today

A key organiser of Friday prayers in Noida’s Sector 58 on Thursday appealed to Muslims not to gather at a park, which was declared off-limits to religious gatherings by the police, as permission has not been granted for holding prayers there.

Adil Rashid, one of the organisers of the Friday namaaz at the park, said he did not want to “whip up” any further controversy on the issue. The police said they will be monitoring the situation on Friday.

Early this month, the Noida police had issued orders stating that Friday prayers cannot be held at the government plot as there was no requisite permission.

“I had made an application to the administration for permission to allow namaaz in the park and it has been denied. So I want to appeal to the people who may not be aware of this that please do not come to that park on Friday, and find other appropriate place for offering namaaz,” Mr. Rashid said.

The 24-year-old Cleric Noman Akhtar, who claimed to have been leading the prayers in the park since 2013, said he will not be going there for the namaaz on Friday.

‘Unauthorised use’

Mr. Rashid and Mr. Akhtar were taken into preventive custody on December 18 for the “unauthorised” use of the park for prayers and then jailed for three days, they said.

‘Written to authorities’

Mr. Akhtar said he was only aware that the organisers had written to the authorities concerned for the permission, and he was asked by the organisers to come and lead the prayers, which is a usual practice.

“After the controversy erupted, I was asked on December 17 to come to the police station the next day for a meeting. I had no idea that I would be detained and then sent to jail,” he said.

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Printable version | Jan 27, 2020 9:02:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/organiser-asks-muslims-not-to-gather-at-park-for-prayers/article25845103.ece

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