Haryana Waqf Board says identifying properties for Friday namaz

Haryana Waqf Board says identifying properties for Friday namaz

People offer namaz under police presence (unseen), after the recent disruptions by Hindu activists organisations, in Gurugram on Friday. PTI Photo

Haryana Waqf Board has decided to allow Muslims to offer the Friday namaz on its properties to end a controversy that began after Hindutva outfits opposed prayers outdoors in Gurgaon, it said on Sunday.

A few people disrupted the Friday prayers a few weeks ago in Gurgaon, saying namaz should be offered only in mosques. Muslim groups say there are not enough mosques in the city.

The board said it has started identifying properties and found 20 in Gurgaon where Muslims can offer Friday namaz.

Some of these properties are encroached upon, however.

"We are identifying our properties in the state where Friday prayers can be offered. In Gurgaon, we have found 20. Some of these have been encroached upon but we're working with the administration to get them removed," Rahish Khan, the board's chairman, told PTI-Bhasha.

The controversy began about three weeks ago when a group of youths objected to the namaz being offered in an open space in Gurgaon's Wazirabad area. Later, a few Hindutva organisations began their protest against namaz in the open.

After that, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar said namaz should be offered in mosques and idgahs, and not in public spaces. The Gurgaon administration then thrashed out an agreement between the two sides to ensure the Friday prayers happen without trouble.

According to Khan, the board has 12,000 properties across Haryana but nearly 4,000 of them are encroached upon.