Gurugram Namaz: Contempt Plea Against Top Officials

“In the recent months, there has been a constant rise in incidents revolving around the said Friday prayers at the behest of certain identifiable hooligans,” states the contempt petition.

Gurugram: A former Rajya Sabha member has approached the Supreme Court with a petition to initiate contempt proceedings against the Haryana chief secretary and the state’s director-general of police over the recent row involving problems faced by Muslims in offering Namaz at public spaces in Gurugram.

The petition filed by Mohammad Adeeb, a resident of Gurugram, pointed out that a few persons have been attempting to spread hatred and communal disharmony against Muslims following which they feel threatened and have addressed several complaints to the police, which have gone unanswered. Lately, truckloads of persons are approaching namaz sites and raising communally divisive slogans and spewing hatred against the religious community through social media posts, the petition said.

“Such hateful campaign, communally divisive incidents and rampant dissemination of propaganda through use of social media, is easily identifiable and is being perpetrated by a limited number of unruly members of the society who are continuously giving effect to their nefarious plans to further hatred and communal disharmony,” the petition said.

The petition filed through advocate Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi referred to the July 2018 decision passed by the Supreme Court directing police and state authorities to take both preventive and remedial steps to prevent incidents of hate crimes, mob lynching and communal violence.

“The continuous inaction, apathy of the state machinery and failure of the local law enforcement agencies and administration to prevent such incidents or to find a solution to the crises before it spirals into a monstrosity, is precisely what had been indicated by this court in Tehseen S Poonawalla case (of 2018) and is thus clearly a contempt of this court’s direction,” the petition said. The petition has named chief secretary Sanjeev Kaushal and DGP PK Agrawal as contemnors.

The petition said Muslims of Gurugram have been performing Friday prayers peacefully and without causing any disturbance at 37 open spaces for lack of places of worship. This was being done after approval from the relevant government authorities, including municipal and police functionaries. “In the recent months, there has been a constant rise in incidents revolving around the said Friday prayers at the behest of certain identifiable hooligans, with no local support, who portray themselves falsely in the name of religion and seek to create an atmosphere of hatred and prejudice against one community across the city,” the contempt petition said.

“The perpetrators are well-known to the respondents/alleged contemnors herein, who have continuously failed to take any effective measures and have rather been bystanders in the entire controversy,” the former independent member from the Rajya Sabha said.

He pointed out that Gurugram is an industrial township where persons of different faiths and religions come to work and such provocative actions are witnessed during working hours when people from the neighbouring areas of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh gather.

The Jamait Ulama-e-Hind made complaints to the police, followed by local residents of all faiths, to take note of the growing hate campaign at the behest of a few persons aimed at singling out one community and creating an atmosphere of hatred and lawlessness. “By October 29, the local police, instead of taking any action against such communally divisive incidents, chose to change the pre-approved locations of Friday prayers,” the petition stated, adding that the intensity of hooliganism has increased over the past months every Friday as people are arriving in trucks, in a manner of pre-planned conspiracy to create hateful and communally divisive atmosphere at the places where namaz is offered.

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