Local Muslims in Gurugram, Haryana want the Namaz in public places to end as they believe it is vitiating the communal atmosphere in the area. Local Muslims in Sector 12 have told Gurugram News that they want things to go back to as they were before when Namaz was not offered in the area.
A shopkeeper in the area, Raees Khan, has said that Namaz is offered in front of his shop which affects business. He said that he has told people to not offer Namaz there but his pleas go unheeded. He further says that Namaz has only been offered there 5 or 6 times, which has caused tensions in the area.
Another shopkeeper, Mahmood Khan, also says the offering of Namaz in the area has created a lot of problems for them. He said that it has affected their business. Mahmood said that he does not know the people who offer Namaz there but only knows Haji Shahzad Khan.
One Mahmood Khan told Hindustan Times, “A group of Muslims has been offering namaz in front of my furniture shop for the past few months. I had requested maulvi in the past not to conduct Friday prayers here, but they ignored my request stating that they were not offering prayer on private land but on government land.” It is not clear if it is the same Mahmood Khan interviewed by Gurugram News but it appears likely.
Another elderly woman said that they have been living there for 40 years and they just want the Namaz to stop. Advocate Kulbhushan Bhardwaj, who has been opposing Namaz in the area, said that he was called there by “Islam Bhai”. Bhardwaj said that he was told by the Muslims there that they had told Shahzad several times to not offer Namaz there.
“Islam Bhai” has passed away four months previously but his sons are now opposing the same. It is being alleged Namaz is being offered forcibly there. Bhardwaj also said that Shahzad goes to all places where Namaz is offered, be it Sector 12, Sector 47 or Sector 40.
Local Muslims and Bhardwaj, both, alleged that Shahzad was behind the entire plot to offer Namaz at the public place in Gurugram. Bhardwaj questioned where is the funding for Shahzad coming from. Haji Shahzad Khan, however, denies the allegations and claimed that he is being targeted.
On the 29th of October, Haryana Police deployed 500 personnel to ensure that Namaz could be offered peacefully at the public places. However, like previous weeks, Hindus protested against the same this Friday as well. The Police have detained dozens of Hindus over the same and the prayers were offered under police protection.
According to a Hindustan Times report, Muslim groups had called Muslims from Nuh and Pataudi for ‘support’. However, it is not clear whether the calls were answered.