SRINAGAR A day after Noida police prohibited offering prayers by Muslims in a public park, BSP president Mayawati and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi Wednesday denounced it. In Jammu and Kashmir, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), a former ruling ally of the BJP in the state, described the ban on offering namaz at local parks a deliberate move to isolate Muslims.
“The order regarding prior approval for offering Friday namaaz at public parks and warning of strict action on firms whose employees are found flouting is improper and arbitrary,” the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) chief said in a release here.
“If the Yogi Adityanath government in the state has any such policy of banning religious activities at public places, why is it not being implemented on people belonging to all religions and in all the districts of the state without any discrimination,” she added.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that Uttar Pradesh police would shower petals on Kanwariyas (Shiva devotees), but told the Muslims that whatever they did, it was their fault.
Drawing a comparison between the police’s stance on Muslims and kanwariyas, Owaisi tweeted, “UP Cops literally showered petals for Kanwariyas, but namaz once a week can mean “disrupting peace & harmony”. This is telling Muslims: aap kuch bhi karlo, ghalti to aapki hi hogi (No matter what you do, it will be your fault). Also, by law, how does one hold an MNC liable for what their employees do in individual capacity?”
Senior PDP leader and former Cabinet Minister Naeem Akhtar said: The ban and many such measures are only aimed at isolating and demonising Muslim community. Such designs of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and his ilk must be defeated by the countrys saner voices in unison.
The PDP leader, while pointing at the Gurugram mosque episode earlier this year, said, it was unfortunate that Sangh Parivar was not taking the message from the recent reverses. The message is bold that India is not a place to play communal politics. Many people may have problems with it but praying publicly has historically been the part of the culture of this country and Maha Shivratri, Durga Puja, Dussehra, Christmas and many other religious festivals are celebrated in public places since ages, said the PDP leader.
We hope saner voices, an overwhelming majority, will rise up to this new trend and defeat the designs to create a communal cauldron out of a country that is proud of its multicultural and multi-religious ethos and its mosaic of diversity, he added.
The directive was conveyed by the police in Sector 58 of Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi, to a private company, saying its employees were found to be offering Friday prayers without authorisation from the administration.
“It is to inform you that there is no permission from the administrative authorities for any kind of religious activity including the ‘namaz’ offered on Fridays in the park situated in Sector 58.
“It has often been seen that the Muslim workers of your company assemble in the park to offer Namaz. It is expected that you inform your employees to not come to the park to offer Namaz,” said a directive issued by Pankaj Rai, SHO of Sector-58 Police Station, Noida.
It added that “if employees still continue to come to the park, it will be assumed that you have not informed your employees and you will be held liable.”
As the matter became public, Senior Superintendent of Police of Noida Ajay Pal Sharma said the notification was not directed against any particular religion or group.
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