scorecardresearch
Follow Us:
Monday, December 06, 2021

Amid namaz row, man offers shop for prayers in Gurgaon

The Sector 12 locality, where Yadav’s shop is, has witnessed protests in recent weeks from some local residents and members of the Sanyukta Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, which also organised a Govardhan Puja at the namaz site recently.

Written by Pavneet Singh Chadha | Gurgaon |
Updated: November 17, 2021 8:39:05 am
Protests against namaz in the open have been on for weeks now. (Express Archive)

Amid protests by some Gurgaon residents and right-wing groups against namaz in the open, a 40-year-old man, Akshay Yadav, has offered his vacant shop in Sector 12 to people from the Muslim community so they can pray there. According to him, prayers were offered by at least 15 people on the premises last Friday, and he is willing to extend the gesture for the future too.

The same day, on November 12, a right-wing outfit had camped at a previously agreed upon namaz site in Sector 12A, saying they will make a volleyball court there, while in Sarhaul, over 80 protesters had disrupted prayers by occupying a park.

The Sector 12 locality, where Yadav’s shop is, has witnessed protests in recent weeks from some local residents and members of the Sanyukta Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, which also organised a Govardhan Puja at the namaz site recently.

Yadav said he had been reading in newspapers about Friday prayers being disrupted, and discussed the issue with one of his tenants, Taufiq Ahmad. “I told him that I have an empty shop near my house which can be used for prayers. A lot of people from the Muslim community in this area work in the auto market and service stations nearby. I just hope for peace and harmony between the communities. The Constitution says that every citizen has a right to pray and no one can object to that,” he said.

The shop, approximately 1,000 square feet, is located near the telephone exchange on Old Delhi road in Sector 12 and has been lying empty for some time, said Yadav, who owns several properties in the area. He has a wildlife tours and travel business, he said, adding: “I am a businessman. I have no affiliation with any political party.”

Yadav said that if the need arises, he is ready to offer his residence or another plot of land he owns for Friday prayers.

“My family said that if our place is being used to offer prayers to any God, it is a good thing. I have lived in Gurgaon for decades and it has always been a place of harmony and brotherhood,” said Yadav.

On November 2, the district administration had withdrawn permission for namaz at eight of the 37 previously agreed upon sites citing “objection from local residents and RWAs”.

Taufiq Ahmad, who was among the people who offered prayers and is Yadav’s tenant, said that 15-20 people offered namaz on November 12 at the shop.

“I used to offer namaz at Jama Masjid in Sadar Bazar earlier. Last week, the landlord, Akshay Yadav, mentioned that since there were protests against namaz in the open, he had a shop in Sector 12 which could be used to offer prayers. I spoke to some people from the community, who agreed. He has also offered his home. A few years ago during Ramzan, many people had prayed at one of his properties.”

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Delhi News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement