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Locals occupy Gurgaon namaz site, conduct havan to mark 13 years of 26/11 attacks

🔴 Heavy police force had been deployed at the ground after some locals had submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner earlier, opposing namaz at the ground.

Written by Pavneet Singh Chadha | Gurgaon |
Updated: November 26, 2021 10:12:55 pm
At noon, over 100 men sat at the open ground, where namaz was also disrupted last week as well, and participated in the havan. (Express Photo)

The row over namaz in Gurgaon took a fresh turn Friday as locals from villages of Mohammadpur Jharsa, Khandsa, Narsinghpur and Khatola occupied the designated namaz site near Sector 37 police station and conducted a havan ceremony. The men said the event was meant to commemorate the 26/11 martyrs on the 13th anniversary of the Mumbai terror attacks.

Heavy police force had been deployed at the ground after some locals had submitted a memorandum to the deputy commissioner earlier, opposing namaz at the ground.

At noon, over 100 men sat at the open ground, where namaz was also disrupted last week as well, and participated in the havan.

Avaneesh Raghav, a businessman from Khandsa village, who was among the organisers of the havan, said: “We have not directly spoken to anyone from the administration. Some people from the gram panchayat of our village had given a memorandum to the DC. We decided to do a puja here to pay tribute to the martyrs who were killed in the Mumbai terror attacks. We do it every year. Earlier, we did the prayer in other villages — in Mohammadpur and Narsinghpur. Now, we are doing it here in Khandsa. We chose this specific spot since we do not have enough space elsewhere in this village. It has nothing to do with namaz.”

He added, “This area is an industrial hub. People should not offer namaz here on the roads. There have been several incidents of crime here. I am not saying that all who come here are anti-social elements, but this has to be checked.”

A group of around 25 men, led by Muslim Ekta Manch chairman Shehzad Khan, eventually offered prayers a few metres from where the havan ceremony had been conducted. (Express Photo)

Also in the group was Dinesh Bharti, president, Bharat Mata Vahini, who had led protests against Friday prayers in Sector 47 earlier, and was also booked in April for allegedly promoting enmity between communities.

Initially, a group of Muslims that had gathered for prayers near the ground started to leave without offering namaz. However, a group of around 25 men, led by Muslim Ekta Manch chairman Shehzad Khan, eventually offered prayers a few metres from where the havan ceremony had been conducted.

After offering prayers, Khan said, “Some people are trying to disrupt harmony among communities in the city. This site is among the list where permission has been granted to offer Friday namaz by the administration and the recently formed committee. Yet some groups are resorting to such tactics to disrupt namaz.”

The deputy commissioner could not be reached for a comment.

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