With namaz gatherings in the open continuing to be disrupted every Friday in Gurugram, Muslim community members said on Thursday that they have no choice but to go to court to seek relief from the ongoing harassment and to protect their constitutional right to religious freedom and worship.
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However, Muslim organisations have claimed that the city’s mosques are insufficient for Friday congregations. As protests in Sector 37 spread to Sector 12A and other areas, the Gurugram administration reduced the number of public namaz sites from 37 to 20 earlier this month. However, even at these designated points, disruptions continued until last Friday.
A few Hindu residents of Khandsa Village sent a memorandum to the district administration on Thursday objecting to Friday prayers near Khandsa Chowk.
He said they were still figuring out the specifics, such as which court to approach and when.
The protest in Khandsa will be led by residents, according to Rajiv Mittal, spokesperson for Sanyukt Hindu Sangarsh Samiti, an umbrella group of rightwing organisations opposed to namaz in the open.
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“Residents of Khandsa Village and Sector 37 submitted a memorandum opposing the namaz. We will support the protests and, if necessary, gather there,” Mittal said
Adding that a deadline of December 4 has already been set for the cessation of such public prayers, around 30 Sikhs are expected to travel from Delhi and Amritsar to oppose the proposal to use gurdwara premises for Friday prayers. Last week, Sikh community leaders offered the use of gurdwaras for namaz, but withdrew the offer a few days later, citing pressure from right-wing groups as well as members of their own community.
Sangat members will arrive at the gurdwara in Sadar on Friday, according to Sardar Raviranjan Singh, vice-president, Gurmat Prachar Jatha Panch Khalsa. “People from all communities are welcome to pray and share langar prasad,” he said. “However, we will not allow namaz or any other religious worship that is not permitted by the Gurmat Rehat Maryada.”
Sherdil Singh Sidhu, the head of the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha in Gurugram’s Sabzi Mandi, told the news outlet that members of the Muslim community have been offered five gurdwaras for namaz at Sadar Bazar, Sector 39, Sector 46, Model Town, and Jacobpura.