Noida: Cops fill park with water to prevent 'namaz'

Noida: Cops fill park with water to prevent 'namaz'

Cong demands ban on RSS 'shakhas' in parks

Early this month, the Noida Police had issued orders stating that Friday prayers cannot be held at the government plot as there was no requisite permission. (PTI File Photo. For representation)

Amid the raging controversy following a ban on offering namaz inside a park in Noida, the Uttar Pradesh police on Friday filled the park with water in an attempt to prevent the namaz from happening.

Soon after the ban, the Congress on Friday demanded a similar ban on 'shakhas' of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) inside parks and other open spaces.

According to sources, a few Muslim employees, who reached the park in Sector 58 in Noida, found that it was filled with water. "The park was filled with water to prevent the prayer and avoid any trouble," remarked a senior official here.

Security personnel were also deployed around the park as a precautionary measure.

A senior Uttar Pradesh Congress leader on Friday shot off a letter to the state police chief seeking a similar ban on the programmes conducted at parks and other open spaces by people from other communities, too.

"The order for banning namaz should have been applied to religious activities of other communities also, otherwise it will harm social harmony," state Congress leader Sampurnananda said in his letter.

The in-charge of Sector 58 police out post in Noida had written to the companies that namaz could not be offered in the park, and that they should convey the same to their Muslim employees and make alternative arrangements.

The ban triggered a controversy with the BJP defending the decision while the Opposition parties and Muslim clerics slamming the state government.