Updated: May 19, 2018 7:01:08 am
“Jagah badal diya hai, na? Jagah badal diya hai?” a six-year-old boy asked his father Friday afternoon. Clad in a red kurta and pyjama, the boy allowed himself to be led to an open space near the marble market in Gurgaon’s Phase I, where many others had gathered to offer namaz. “Earlier we used to read namaz in another vacant plot a few metres from here. However, now we have to come here to offer prayers. We did not come last week because we were afraid there would be trouble, so my son is very confused by the change,” said his father, Rahim, who hails from Bihar and works as a painter in Gurgaon.
“He is young and does not understand what has been happening. How do I tell him that people around him are not happy that he lives here?” he said. The open space in Phase I was among 23 spots agreed upon by the district administration, Gurgaon Police, and representatives of the Muslim community, during a meeting last week, for reading namaz. Apart from these, prayers were also offered at 24 other places in the city Friday, which were either masjids or properties belonging to the Waqf board.
Although namaz was peaceful in most places, at Bhora Kalan in Pataudi, a group of villagers allegedly prevented “outsiders” from praying at the local masjid. “They had created a problem last week as well. They only allowed residents of their area to offer prayers,” alleged Wajid Khan, head of the Nehru Yuva Sanghathan Welfare Society Charitable Trust. “We have approached the Commissioner of Police. If this happens again next week, we will have no choice but to register a case.”
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