NCP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Majeed Memon made a statement on Times Now insinuating that more religious land is needed for Muslims, as their population is on the rise. He was also quoted by Times Now as alleging that the Muslims were finding it difficult to offer their prayers on footpaths:
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) May 7, 2018
In the video clip, Memon is heard saying that Muslims were finding it very difficult to offer their prayers in extended Mosque areas or footpaths owing to their growing population.
He claimed that the number of places where the Muslims are expected to offer prayers have in contrast remained unchanged, as he alleged that more mosques were not being allowed to be built, and even the existing ones were being prevented from being scaled up. He also tried to drive home his point by claiming that it was the constitutional right of Muslims to get proper places of worship.
The aforementioned claims though didn’t sit well with twitter user @sambitInt, who asserted that neither article 25 nor 26 didn’t guarantee free government land. He thus quoted article 26(c) of the Indian constitution which states that, “Every religious denomination shall have the right to own or and acquire movable and immovable property”.
Hence the article 26(c) raises the question whether religious institution can indeed be prevented from building prayer centres for their devotees as claimed by Memon, considering the article states that religious institutions are already free to either own or buy a piece of land (immovable property).
Besides this, article 26(b) states that the religious denomination has a right to manage its own affairs in matters of religion, thereby possibly insinuating that the religious institutions have the freedom to decide what goes on on their land.
This statement by Memon comes in the light of Haryana Chief Minister ML Khattar asserting that Namaz should not be offered at public spaces, with Mosques or Idgahs being the proper venues for the same.
His statement came in the backdrop of protests by some organisations against Namaz on public land in Gurugram, Haryana, earlier in April. This had resulted their arrest, following which, Hindu groups had demanded a ban on offering Namaz in open spaces or government land without taking prior administrative permission.