AMN / GURGAON
The Haryana Waqf Board has asked state goverement to remove encroachments and obstructions from Waqf properties in the state so that Muslim could offer their Namaz there. The demand came following continued protests by right-wing organisations against offering of namaz in open spaces in different parts of state.
Board has submitted a list of 19 mosques/properties in Gurugram that are lying unused either due to alleged opposition by locals or encroachments.
The board said that the sites could be used for Friday prayers. Submitting the list, Estate Officer of the Gurugram Waqf Board Jamaluddin demanded that the local administration remove any encroachment at these sites and provide police protection to those offering prayers at these places.
He said that Waqf Board was ready to renovate or build mosques at these properties and deploy Imams at its own expenses.
“If the administration can remove encroachments from these 19 sites, most of the people who are forced to offer prayers in open spaces can be accommodated and the matter can be resolved amicably,” he said.
In his letter, Mr. Jamaluddin also referred to an over two-acre plot acquired by the HUDA in Chauma village in Palam Vihar. He said that the Punjab and Haryana High Court had already directed the HUDA to provide alternate land to the board in return for the plot.
As per the list, seven mosques have been allegedly encroached upon in Wazirabad, Daulatpur-Nasriabad, Dhankot, Naurganpur, Jharsa, Badshahpur and Farrukhnagar villages. Similarly, six mosques are not being used for offering prayers at Bhondsi, Khurampur, Dhankot, Meoka and Garhi Harsaru villages due to alleged opposition by the locals.
“Our attempts to build a mosque on Waqf Board plots in Jharsa, Jharsa-Fazilpur, Naurangpur and Meoka have been thwarted by the locals,” he said.
Meanwhile both the Congress and the INLD accused the ruling BJP of deliberately playing the communal card ahead of the 2019 general election. Prodded by saffron outfits to make his stand clear, Khattar had purportedly said “namaz should be read in a masjid or an idgah, and if short of space, they (Muslims) should read it in their private spaces.” The CM issued a clarification later in the day, saying he had never stopped anyone from offering namaz.
“Muslims have been offering namaz in the open for over a decade in Gurugram and everything was smooth until now. With the 2019 polls approaching, they want to divide the society on religious lines. This is purely a political game to get the attention of Hindu voters,” said Captain Ajay Yadav, who was the power minister in the Bhupinder Singh Hooda-led Congress government.
“Instead of making such statements, the CM should allot places large enough for offering namaz. They (Muslims) congregate on the streets because they do not have a place big enough. And why blame them alone? Don’t we do yoga in parks and at times have jagran on the roads?” he asked.
Echoing the Congress, INLD, too, accused the BJP of trying to polarise the voters. “The BJP is trying to divide the electorate on communal grounds, keeping in mind the approaching elections at the national and state level. It is the government’s responsibility to ensure the Muslims feel safe and secure. The government should also find alternative land where namaz can be offered,” said INLD leader Gopi Chand Gehlot.