In a move claimed to be ‘no religion specific’, the Noida police issued a notice to 23 organizations situated at Sector 58 to instruct their Muslim staffs not to offer ‘Namaz’ (prayers) in the Noida Authority Park, news agency, ANI reported. The Station House Officer (SHO) of Sector 58 police station has reportedly issued the notice to maintain peace and harmony in the district at the outskirts of the national capital. Pankaj Rai, the SHO of Sector 58 police station, stated to a media house that around 500 people gather at the park to offer prayers on Fridays without any permission. The notice issued by the authority highlighted the gathering without city magistrate’s permission is not permissible. “It has come to notice that the Muslim employees of your company gather in the Noida Authority’s park to offer prayers. I have collectively asked them not to do so and there is no permission being given by the city magistrate to their application. Hence, it is expected that you, on your behalf, would inform your Muslim employees that they should not go to the park for offering namaz,” read the notice, quoted TOI.
The notice also warned companies that if their employees do not discontinue going to the park, they will be held responsible for further action. “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,” read the lines from the notice, quoted ANI. Known as one of the most exalted Islamic rituals and confirmed obligatory acts, Friday prayer known as ‘Jumma Namaz’ is widely practiced across the world. It is practiced after noon on every Friday and almost all Muslims gather at one place to offer their prayer together. This gathering claimed to include around 500 people at Noida Authority’s park has become a matter of concern for the police authorities. Talking on the issue, the Gautam Nagar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), Dr. Ajay Pal Sharma, clarified that the move doesn’t pertain to one community but everyone. “Some people had sought permission for offering prayers in the Noida Authority’s park in sector 58, which is yet to be given by the office of the city magistrate. And, this information was passed on to all the companies. The information does not pertain to a particular community but is for everybody. It is expected that all will help the police in maintaining peace and harmony in the district,” Sharma clarified.
Sharma also anticipated that if Friday Namaz is not stopped at Noida Authority’s park, there could be requests from other religious community to let them organise pooja (Hindu worshipping) at the same spot, it will create a conflict and may lead to disturbance to the communal harmony. “Tomorrow if some other group comes and says we want to organise pooja, there can be tensions. It is a Noida Authority park where no functions like marriage, etc can be organised. Whether Hindu or Muslims, such functions will be stopped,” Sharma said, quoted TOI.
As per the police officials, the gathering has stopped from last two weeks after the notice was served.