Delhi

Six arrested for disrupting namaz in Gurugram ground

Men threatened devotees, told them to stop praying there

Six persons were arrested by the Gurugram Police on Thursday for allegedly disrupting namaz at an open ground in Sector 53 here this past Friday and issuing threats to those offering the prayers.

The video of the incident, which has been doing rounds of social networking websites, shows around half-a-dozen men asking the Muslim men, getting ready to offer namaz, to leave the ground, amid chants of “Jai Shri Ram” and “Banke Bihari Ki Jai”. The men could be heard saying that they should go to their homes or mosques to offer namaz.

Imam Hafiz Khalid, who leads the prayers at the ground, told The Hindu that around half-a-dozen men had come to him three weeks ago and asked him not to offer namaz at the ground in the future.

“A helper and I were rolling up the carpets after offering namaz three weeks ago, when the men came and asked me not to offer prayers at the ground in the future. However, we continued to do so. More than a dozen men came back to us this past Friday, while we were getting ready to pray, and snatched the microphone from my hand,” told Mr. Khalid.

Mr. Khalid said that the men had come in a car and two motorcycles and had scared away the devotees. He said that he had been leading prayers at the ground for more than six years now, but had never faced such a situation before. “Earlier we offered prayers at a vacant plot in DLF Phase-V, but the police asked us to shift to the present venue after a building came up at the earlier site,” said Mr. Khalid.

‘Forced to chant slogans’

He claimed that the men even made a few of the devotees forcibly chant “Jai Shri Ram” to which they obeyed not willing to get into trouble

The FIR in the matter was registered at Sector 53 Police Station late on Thursday evening following a written complaint by Wajid Khan Nehru Yuva Sangathan Welfare Society chairman Hazid Shahzad Khan. The case has been registered on charges of outraging religious feelings, disturbing religious worship and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code.

Mr. Khan said that there was sudden spurt in such incidents in the city wherein members of his community were being stopped from freely practising their religion and a sense of fear prevailed among them.

“Not so long ago, some young men tried to prevent Muslims from offering namaz in a plot in Feroze Gandhi Colony and later, a similar incident was reported in Om Nagar. But the administration has acted promptly on our complaints,” said Mr. Khan.

No Right-wing link

The accused have been identified as Arun, Manish, Deepak, Mohit, Ravinder and Monu. The six were produced before a court and sent to jail.

Gurugram Police spokesperson Ravinder Kumar said the accused belonged to Wazirabad and Kanhai villages and did not owe allegiance to any Right-wing group.

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 9:51:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/six-arrested-for-disrupting-namaz-in-gurugram-ground/article23688633.ece

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