Recently the Noida police have issued an advisory notice to 23 private companies in sector 58, asking their administrations to dissuade their employees from visiting nearby parks for offering namaz. The police asserted that the companies must ensure that their officials use office premises or mosques for Namaz but not public places.
Sector 58 Station House Officer (SHO) Pankaj Rai, who issued the notices, cited a Supreme Court order of 2009, which banned unauthorised use of public places for religious activities by all religions.
While Shia Waqf board chief Waseem Rizvi welcomed the decision, Owaisi, furious with the Noida police’s intervention, hit out at the Uttar Pradesh government alleging that the UP police would shower petals on ‘kanwariyas’, but interrupt the Muslims for whatever they did. He further lambasted at the UP government, asking, how could namaz, once a week mean disrupting peace and harmony?
Well, history has it, how the Friday namaz has been, often seen turning into mass violence. On April 25, we had reported how a large mob speculated to be numbering into a thousand, went on a rampage following the Friday Namaz Prayers in Madhya Pradesh’s Burhanpur town. In order to restore peace, the police proceeded to lathi charge the violent youths.
In August last year, the police had to fire at a mob in Aligarh which was resorting to incessant stone pelting after Friday prayers. Post-Eid prayers too had seen intense violence in July 2017 when a large mob decided to attack a police station in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.
In 2012, Lucknow had witnessed one of the biggest mayhem when a mob, numbering about 500, went berserk and indulged in large-scale violence, targeting media persons in particular and even beating up several bystanders who were caught unawares after the Alvida namaz (on the last Friday of Ramzan). The mob also had vandalised a statue of Lord Mahavira.
A lot more such incidents have been rampant in the valley of Jammu and Kashmir too.
In a similar incident, in June, a mob in Janglaat area of Jammu and Kashmir pelted stones at security personnel after Namaz offerings. According to a report, just a few hours after the situation in the rogue valley turned violent, the officials deployed in the area were forced to use tear gas shells in order to disperse the agitated crowd.
With Kashmir regularly witnessing such episodes of post-Friday namaz violence, it was reported recently, how the second Friday of Ramzan had turned violent in Jammu and Kashmir. At least 50 people were reported injured when a huge gathering of youths, post-Friday prayers, started brandishing anti-national flags and pelted stones at security personnel posted a little away from Jamia Masjid in the Nowhatta area of the city.
In fact, performing prayers on the street has long been a disputable argument in the foreign countries as well. France which is the biggest home to the Muslim minority in Western Europe had introduced a ban on praying in the streets, though the French Muslims argued that they did not have enough space in Mosques.