Wednesday, December 8, 2021 – 2:25 pm WIB
VIVA – The continued action by right-wing Hindu groups in protest against Muslims offering Friday prayers in a public square in Gurugram – an hour from India’s capital New Delhi – has caused anger and concern among minorities.
Last Friday, demonstrators parked nearly a dozen trucks at one of India’s Muslim places of worship in Sector 37 Gurugram, better known as the old name Gurgaon, in the northern state of Haryana. The region is led by the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
When a group of Muslims arrived for Friday prayer, crowds of Hindu men suddenly began chanting religious slogans, including Hail God Ram, rebuking believers and saying that prayers are not allowed. The action was carried out in front of the eyes of local security forces.
It is known that 1.1 million people live in Gurugram. According to the 2011 census, Gurugram is a financial and technology center where many multinational companies have their offices. Less than 5 percent of the population are Muslim.
Gurugram faces the problem of the lack of mosques for Muslim worship. Gurugram Muslims have been offering their Friday prayers in parks or on vacant lots for years with the approval of the authorities. There are at least 100 places for Friday prayer.
But the Muslim Friday prayers in Gurugram continue to be protested by Hindu groups, they have even interrupted prayer activities in recent months. The action caused city officials to withdraw permits for Friday prayers in most places.
In a video that went viral last Friday, a Hindu named Dinesh Bharti is seen mocking a Muslim imam identified as Shehzad Khan and saying in Hindi, “Namaz nahi hogi yahan (There will be no prayers here) .
He was dragged by the police and reportedly later arrested for inciting and disturbing the public peace. According to Indian media reports, Bharti has already been arrested on similar charges.
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