Gurugram’s right-wing groups seem so eager, and are so punctual to reach sites where Namaz is offered, one would think they are keen to pray too. However, as they are expected to perform to rise in the eyes of their political bosses, they create a ruckus, shout slogans and try to confront Muslims, including the elderly who have gathered to offer namaz. All of this is ofcourse dutifully documented and relayed on social media.
The methods vary week to week, sometimes they find reasons to offer elaborate Hindu prayers at the exact same site as the namaz, at other times they stick to the usual confrontation tactics. Thankfully, the Muslims gathered there for namaz did not respond to the confrontation. Slogans of ‘Jai Shri Ram‘ are raised even as namaz is being offered amid heavy police presence. Most of the disruptors wear saffron scarves as badges identifying their allegiance to Hindutva wing groups.
And Gurugram at its usual behaviour on Fridays pic.twitter.com/30y6pNORil
— Mohammad Ghazali (@ghazalimohammad) December 3, 2021
Yet again on this Friday, December 3, Hindutva groups gathered to demonstrate against namaz at the Sector 37 site amid heavy police presence. Soon clips on social media showed the local police picking up a couple of protestors from the site. According to The Quint, over seven people were detained by the Gurugram police in Sector 37 this Friday. The namaz site, which has been operational for years, is close to the Sector 37 police station. Protesters have been detained before, yet they return every Friday, week after week, for months now. This Friday, among those detained is Dinesh Bharti of the Bharat Mata Vahini. Bharti has been among those fuelling these protests across Gurugram since September.
This week, they gathered around noon, and began sloganeering and arguing with police personnel. “We are not doing anything wrong,” screamed a right wing protester in a video, asking, “This is our village, how can you not allow us to come here?” Meanwhile, others chanted their slogans like war cries. According to news reports, some of the saffron groups even parked their trucks at the plot citing “parking issues” earlier in the day.
The Muslim community via the Jamait Ulama-i-Hind had alerted the administration that several Hindutva right-wing leaders have been making provocative statements in an attempt to spread disharmony. They submitted a complaint to Deepak Saharan, DCP West Gurugram, however it is not yet known if an First Information Report (FIR) has been lodged based on that.
Last month, the Sikh community, offered an open space in their gurudwara (a Sikh place of worship) compound to the Muslim community for the congregational prayers. According to sources, the prayers, if they were held, would have been outside the main gurudwara in the courtyard or in the basement community hall. However, the prayers were not held at the gurdwara, and right wing groups began building pressure, and even came to protest at the venue.
On December 2, the right-wing groups had threatened to disrupt namaz again on Friday and informed the district administration about their intention to adopt any means, reported Hindustan Times. They reportedly said they will resort to “violence if necessary, to stop Muslims from offering Friday prayers in public places.”