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Thursday, December 02, 2021

At puja on Gurgaon namaz site, BJP’s Kapil Mishra invokes Shaheen Bagh, azadi

Late last month, a group of 26 protesters -- several of whom were from right-wing groups -- were arrested for attempting to disrupt the namaz before being released on bail the same day. Many of them were present at Friday’s event.

Written by Pavneet Singh Chadha | New Delhi |
Updated: November 5, 2021 9:56:38 pm
BJP leader Kapil Mishra attends Govardhan Puja on Friday. (Express Photo)

BJP leader Kapil Mishra Friday attended a Govardhan puja, organised by members of the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, at the Sector 12A site in Gurgaon where namaz had been taking place every Friday. The Sector 12A site, where namaz was being offered under police protection, has witnessed disruptions from right-wing outfits and local residents for two weeks.

Late last month, a group of 26 protesters — several of whom were from right-wing groups — were arrested for attempting to disrupt the namaz before being released on bail the same day. Many of them were present at Friday’s event.

Speaking at the event, Mishra alluded to bursting of firecrackers yesterday: “Yesterday on Diwali, a lot of orders and edicts had been imposed on Hindus all over the country. And what was the result? Jitna dabaoge, jitna atyachar karoge… we are peace abiding people. But agar daboage toh wahi hoga jo pure desh mein hua hai. If we are pushed to the wall, then a push has to be given in response (Phir ek dhakka toh maarna hi padta hai).”

He added: “Do not use roads for your politics. We had seen it in Shaheen Bagh. They had done a tamasha by blocking all the roads. Has the CAA been revoked? Arteries and nerves, if blocked, stop the body’s movements. Similarly, if roads are blocked, the city and country stops.”

“Everyone has equal rights in the Constitution. Blocking of roads cannot be a part of anyone’s religion. It shouldn’t happen. Gurgaon is a metropolitan city renowned world over. Here you will block roads. You will block them in Delhi? This cannot be a part of religion… This is a way to stop and disrupt the economy of the country. The first right to roads belongs to people who walk on them or run their businesses or use them to reach offices, hospitals, schools. And if local residents raise objection, then no one has a constitutional right to sit and block roads. There is no end to this. People from outside come and pray here,” he said.

“I want to say that people should pray at their religious sites. In this country, Waqf boards own the highest amount of land… make your arrangements to pray there. This issue is not just about Gurgaon. Everyone is bothered by it. By doing this (the puja), others will get inspiration that we will have to speak up for our rights… Blocking roads every week is impossible, it is not acceptable anywhere in the world. This won’t be allowed. Blocking people from going to schools, hospitals, places of work… is not an alternative.”

“I want to congratulate the people who fought for this freedom… who fought to defend these constitutional rights. This is the real fight for freedom (azadi). Not the one for which slogans of azadi are raised. We need freedom to freely walk on the roads,” he said.

On Sunday, the Samiti had announced that they would conduct the Govardhan puja to oppose namaz at all public places. Some representatives of the Muslim community had said that they were willing to relocate from the site, provided they were provided an alternative space or Waqf board properties were cleared of encroachments.

The Gurgaon administration had on Thursday withdrawn permission for namaz at eight sites in the city. In a statement by the Gurgaon police, the authorities stated that the decision was taken after “objection from local residents and resident welfare associations”. A committee, comprising members of Hindu and Muslim communities, and social organisations was constituted for identifying a list of spots where Friday namaz can be offered “in the future”.

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