Protest march in Gurugram over FIR for stopping ‘namaz’

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Gurugram, April 30 (IANS) A protest march under the banner of the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti was taken out here on Monday to demand cancellation of an FIR against six youths on the charge of disrupting ‘namaz’ on government land.

The protesters gathered at the Kamla Nehru Park and marched to the Mini Secretariat, where they handed over a memorandum to the Additional Deputy Commissioner for forwarding it to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar.

Six persons were arrested after an FIR was filed at the Sector 53 police station on Thursday evening for allegedly disrupting the Muslim prayers at an open ground in Sector 53 and threatening those offering prayers.

The FIR was registered against Arun, Manish, Deepak, Mohit, Ravinder and Monu on charges of hurting religious feelings, disturbing religious worship, and criminal intimidation under the Indian Penal Code on a complaint by Wajid Khan and Nehru Yuva Sangathan Welfare Society Chairman Hazid Shahzad Khan.

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Gurugram Police said the accused hailed from Wazirabad and Kanhai villages and did not owe allegiance to any right-wing group.

Civil Judge Neetika Bharadwaj had on Sunday granted bail to the six accused on technical grounds as police did not follow proper procedure before booking them.

The court also took into consideration the fact that the authorities did not give permission for holding the prayers on government land.

Former Gurugram Bar Association President Kulbhushan Bharadwaj, the counsel of the accused and who led the protesters, said: “People were conducting prayers on government land in front of a temple near Wazirabad without permission from authorities. Besides, police did not follow proper procedure for registering the FIR. Police also admitted in court that permission had not been given for conducting prayers.”

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“Efforts have been made in the past to vitiate atmosphere by pro-Pakistan slogans after prayers. When some youths stopped them from doing so, police took one-sided action and sent six of them to jail. A large number of these Muslims are from Bangladesh and don’t possess proper identification documents.” said the memorandum submitted by the protesters.

–IANS

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