Opp attacks CM Manohar Lal over foreign visit

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Days after the Hindu outfits based in Gurgaon obstructed the Muslims from reading their customary Friday namaz in the open, the representatives of the Muslims community along with a group of residents on Tuesday morning met the divisional commissioner in Gurgaon. People in our country have been praying in public for centuries so why is this being brought up now?

Jalaluddin, a Haryana Waqf Board officer, told PTI, "Waqf Board has written a letter to Gurgaon district administration with the lists of encroached land near mosques and asked the officers concerned to remove encroachment so that the Muslim people can use it for offering namaz (prayer)".

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar statement comes in wake of alleged disruptions to namaz by right-wing groups in Gurgaon. Khattar said if anyone had any problem with somebody offering prayers at public places, he could inform the administration and the police. The members of the group staged protests on Friday as they claimed that Muslim worshippers did not have permission to offer prayers in public. Khattar explained that people have objections to Muslim's reading Namaz in open. "Blocking public places not good".

The BJP has drawn sharp political criticism for its stance. It is also under consideration of the state government to give preference to such students in recruitment to the Police Department, he added.

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The issue has also brought into focus the many forms of prayers-jagrata, bhandara, kirtans and kawarias-that are held in public spaces including on roadsides. "The BJP...always has an agenda of playing with religious sentiments and disturbing communal harmony".

Although there has been no official reaction from the Gurgaon authorities, sources say decent amount of compels arrived at the namaz websites and prevented any violence.

In this regard, it would be instructive to examine the constitutional provision under which the right to Freedom of Religion is granted to all citizens of India. Hence, to perform "namaz" in open spaces, thereby leading to disruption of traffic, is something that is not protected at all under the scheme of our Constitution. Why should we allow visarjan processions that take over our streets?

"On average, I spend more time stuck in traffic within Gurugram than it takes me to travel the distance from Faridabad", Ms Nerurkar said. "It's unfair to just target one religious community".

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