The Gurgaon administration on Tuesday withdrew permission for Muslims to offer namaz at eight of 37 “designated” prayer sites that were agreed upon in the wake of similar events in 2018.
The administration said permission had been cancelled after “objections” from residents and warned that if similar “objections” were raised at other prayer sites, “permission will not be given there too”.
“Consent from the administration is necessary for namaz in any public and open place,” Gurgaon authorities said, adding, “If local people have objections at other places also, permission will not be given to offer namaz there too.”
Four of the eight sites are Bengali Basti (Sector 49), Block V of DLF Phase 3, Surat Nagar Phase 1 and an area near the DLF Square Tower on Jacaranda Marg.
The others are on the outskirts of the Kherki Majra and Daulatabad villages, near the Ramgarh village in Sector 68, and an area between Rampur village and Nakhrola Road.
Namaz can be offered, the administration said, at mosques or Eidgah (or open-air prayer sites), in a private space, or at a designated site – of which there are now only 29.
The administration said a committee constituted by Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner Yash Garg would hold discussions on identifying places to offer namaz.
The committee consists of a Sub Divisional Magistrate, an Assistant Commissioner of Police and members of both religious organisations and civil society groups, and will work, the administration said, towards ensuring local residents do not face any problem in offering prayers.
The committee will also ensure namaz is not offered on roads or public place, and that consent is taken from locals at the time of designating a spot for offering prayers.
The administration has also called upon religious communities to maintain law and order; extensive security arrangements have been made by the police in this regard, it said.
On several occasions over the past few weeks, residents of some Gurgaon neighbourhoods and members of right-wing groups have protested against Friday namaz at public grounds.
Last week 30 people were detained after protests in Sector 12-A, where namaz was being offered on private property. Weekly protests have also been held at Sector 47.
“Locals staged a protest against Friday namaz at a ground in Sector 47 for the fourth consecutive week by performing puja. Efforts are ongoing for a solution, including finding an alternate place for namaz,” ACP Aman Yadav had said.
“Earlier also two rounds (of talks) were held under the chairmanship of the Sub Divisional Magistrate (Badshahpur). We are making efforts to find a solution and resolve the issue amicably,” he added.