The Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj India on Tuesday alleged that Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar was “communalising” the atmosphere here by making “irresponsible” statements.
The party’s reaction came after Khattar, on Sunday, in the wake of alleged disruptions to namaz by right-wing groups at multiple locations here, said such congregations should be restricted to mosques, idgahs or private places. Terming the Khattar’s statement “unfortunate”, Yadav said, “At a time when the CM should have tried to calm down tempers, he is making irresponsible statements resulting in communalisation of the atmosphere.”
“His statement can been seen as a patronage to the rowdy elements and goons disturbing Friday namaz,” the party’s national president said. Most of the Muslim population in Gurgaon largely constitute of poor migrants from other states and they do not have sufficient number of mosques here to offer Friday prayers, Swaraj India said. Prayers are offered at over 100 public locations while the number of mosques in Gurgaon are not even 15, it claimed.
Therefore, denying the Muslim community access to public place for prayers tantamount to denying them their constitutional legal right to practice ones religion, the party said. Concerned over the developments, a Swaraj India delegation led by senior party leader Anupam spoke to leaders and individuals in Gurgaon. The team also met Commissioner of Police Sandeep Khirwar in order to get the administrative perspective.
“The Swaraj India team has suggested that in case there is any specific location where Friday gathering creates public disturbance, it should be looked into and resolved through a dialogue with the administration. If needed, such locations may be barred from congregation,” Anupam said. But once the public spaces are marked, it is the duty of the state government and the administration to ensure people are allowed to offer prayers peacefully, he said, adding that strong action should be taken against groups or individuals indulging in vigilantism by taking law into hands.
Swaraj India also gave a call to observe next Friday as Sadbhavana Day.
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