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India: Citizens Memorandum to Gurugram Administration Regarding Disruption of Namaaz Prayers

9 May 2018

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8 May 2018

Dr. D. Suresh
Commissioner, Government of Haryana
Gurugram, Haryana

Dear Sir,

Subject: Appeal to Gurugram Administration

We write to you as concerned citizens from Gurugram anguished at Friday Jummah namaaz being disrupted at several places in the city.

Some of us were witness to the way the namaaz was disrupted and people offering prayers terrorised by a small group of young men throwing the filthiest abuses and raising slogans that were communal in nature on Friday, 4 May at MG Road near Sikanderpur station. These young men were brought to the place in 3-4 cars and once they had disrupted the namaaz, were whisked away by their leaders. It is clear that the action was pre planned and well orchestrated, with an intention to provoke a reaction.

Thankfully the calm, patience and good sense displayed by the namaazis prevented the situation from turning violent.

Sadly however in contrast to the incident on 20 April, 2018 when the disruption of the namaaz in Sector 53 was followed by the arrest of trouble makers, no such action was taken by the police on 4 May outrage. We urge you to take suo moto action against individuals and organisations involved in this criminal intimidation. A sense of impunity if strengthened by administrative inaction will lead to tragic consequences.Our constitution demands action against people and groups that act criminally and breach the law through their words and deeds.

As reported in media a group called Sanyukt Hindu SangharshSamitihas made a number of demands related to the matter. Significant among these demands are that (i) Namaaz in the open cannot be offered without permission in any part of Gurugram (ii) Muslims need explicit permission to use government & open land for namaaz (iii) Permission should not be given for namaaz in Hindu colonies, sectors and neighbourhoods (iv) Permission should only be given in those places where the strength of this population is more than 50 per cent.

We want to bring to note our concerns related to these demands.

1. These demands are unconstitutional and go against basic constitutional values and rights. In particular, they violate Articles 14 (Equality before law), Article 15 (prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth) and Article 25 (freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion). We trust that the Gurugram administration will uphold its constitutional duty and act accordingly.

2. Regarding use of open/government grounds for private purposes including religious purposes we hope that the Gurugram administration has in place orders and policies to guide all citizens of Gurugram and are applicable fairly for all.

3. There is fear among Muslim residents about their safety and right to practice their religion peacefully. We hope that the Gurugram administration will assuage the fears of the community and uphold their constitutional rights to peacefully pray without fear and intimidation.

4. Haryana Government has the primary responsibility of preventing law and order being breached through intimidation and attempts to create enmity among citizens of India. We expect the government to take suo moto action against all those who are responsible for spreading hatred amongst communities.

We appeal to the Gurugram Administration, the Haryana Government to take urgent action on our following demands:

1. Today Gurugram is a fine example of a multi faith industrious and peace loving city. Its residents have come from every part of India and many parts of the world, and built this city together. The need is to strengthen the bonds between residents rather than allow these to be wakened by a handful of criminal elements.

2. Gurugram has today a large population of Muslim residents, along with thousands more who are here at any given time for business, jobs or hospital treatments. A large number of these Muslim residents offer Juma prayers every Friday. During the month of Ramzaan, the number of Muslims offering Jumanamaaz almost doubles. Therefore, there is every reason for ensuring that there is adequate space provided for the faithful to offer Jummanamaaz during Ramzaan and no anti-social element be allowed to break law, disrupt namaaz and create communal flare-up.

3. It is clear that the mischievous intent of certain organizations to create, use and amplify issues where none existed, all for the purpose of spreading hatred, rancour, disturbances, and an ambience of tension is now exhibiting itself in attempting to restrict the Friday Jummanamaz. It must be borne in mind that here in Gurugram, muslims have been peacefully utilising public spaces over the last 25 odd years for this purpose since there are insufficient masjids available to accommodate these large numbers. Wakf board lands are under siege/litigation/ illegal occupation at all places in the district and unavailable to the community. No space for building masjids has been granted to the community.

4. The adminstration has to control the issue speedily, protect the offering of Friday Jummanamaz at all current locations, prevent the development of an overcharged and poisonous communal atmosphere, while simultaneously applying their minds along with community leaders and town planners to –

  • a. Earmark and organize larger public space/open land within reasonable distances to residential areas and commercial establishments, that the community can be allowed to use for 2 hours every Friday, in a well regulated and organized fashion that will meet their need as also prevent the issue from being used by vested interests.
  • b. In the medium term, direct the town planners to engage with the community to plan the permanent allotment of land so the community can build masjids as per the requirement.

Copy to: Shri. Vinay Pratap Singh, Deputy Commissioner, Gurugram

2. Kalpana Vishwanath
3. Gargi Rawat , Journalist
4. Maj. S L Parjapati, Retired Army Officer
5. Asheesh Pandya, Freelance Sound Practitioner
6. Zeba Zaidi Adeeb
7. Dr Abhay Chawla , Teacher , Delhi University
8. Gitanjali Mathrani
9. Amulya Gopalakrishnan, Journalist
10. Amitabh Dubey, analyst
11. Sudha Gopalakrishnan, academic
12. Minu Jain, Journalist
13. Sudha G Tilak, Freelancer
14. Asim Mohammad
15. Adil Parvez Chishti, Software Engineer
16. FarasatUllah Khan, SRL Limited
17. Dr M. Nadeem, Attending consultant , Fortis hospital
18. Maimoona Mollah, AIDWA
19. Prof. Dinesh Varshney, Associate Professor, Department of History, Motilal Nehru College Evening University of Delhi
20. Benu Mohanlal, Teacher
21. Mohammad Mateen Khan
22. Manvi Dikshit, Research Scholar
23. Anjali Singh,
24. Aresh Shirali, Journalist
25. Suparna Pasricha, self employed
26. Veenu Pasricha, self employed
27. Ardhendu Sen, IAS (retd) Former Chief Secretary Government of West Bengal
28. Kalyani Menon Sen, independent researcher and feminist activist
29. Amaan Khan, Corporate Executive
30. Haseena Thameem
31. Nida Ahmad
32. Purva Agarwala, Writer
33. Amrita Lalljee, Theatre in Education Practioner
34. Amit Jain, Media Professional
35. Sanjeev Takru, Company executive
36. Capt R S Rawal, Pilot
38. H V Subramaniam (Prasad), Academic & Consultant
39. Minakshi Ibrahim
40. Farah Naaz, Lawyer
41. Ranjit Shastri
42. I M G Khan, Former Secretary GOI , Former Member,UPSC
43. Virni(Bazaz)Agarwal, Sociologist Urban Planner -Consultant
44. Taab Siddiqi, Business- Self Employed
45. Nishant Pant, Entrepreneur
46. Shirly Bajaj , Adventure Tourism
47. Jamal Mohammad khan, Retired DGM Syndicate Bank
48. Mona Mishra, (former UN) Development Consultant, Delhi
49. Ujwala Prabhu
50. Amitabha Pande , Former Secretary to the Government of India - IAS Retired
51. Meena Yadav, Retired school teacher
52. Devjani Roy
53. Venu Arora, Communication and research consultant, film maker
54. Vickie Rai
55. Atuk Kapoor, Businessman
56. Bharti Ali, Child Rights Activist
57. Prabir Purkayastha
58. Harbans Mukhia, Historian
59. Sanjay Srivastava , Professor of Sociology
60. Ishratthameem, Management Consultant.
61. Aymani Razzaqdi
62. Syed Imran Shah
63. Sameen Adeeb, Manager (Education) at GEMS Educatio
64. Mohammad Adeeb, Ex MP, Rajya Sabha
65. Ahmar Siddiqui , Senior Consultant
66. Sonali Khani
67. Sas Kirmani
68. Lalita Thukral
69. Rajshree Chandra Assoc Professor, Delhi University
70. Asma Sharieff , Sr.Design Manager
71. Daanish Iqbal
72. Rashmi Chandra, Management Consultant
73. Rathin Mathur, Entrepreneur
74. Naiyer Razzaqui, Air Vice Marshal
75. Gouse Sadak
76. Mukta Naik, Urban planner and researcher
77. Amit Baruah, Journalist
78. Syed Imran Shah , Associate Vice President - Evalueserve
79. Dr Arshad Khuroo, AVP, SUN Pharma, Gurugram, Haryana
80. Harsh Singh Lohit, Farmer
81. Abu Sufiyan , Digital Marketing Strategist
82. Radha Khan , Gurgaon Resident
83. Rahul Roy , Independent Filmmaker
84. Saba Dewan , Independent Filmmaker
85. Anchal Mehta , Homemaker
86. Shilpi Singh, Gurgaon Resident
87. Purva Bhalla, Consultant
88. Dr Alpana Neogy, Professor of English (retd)
89. Usha Rai, Journalist
90. M K Alam, Civil Engineer
91. Samira Dewan Suri, Gurgaon Resident
92. Rakesh Suri, Logistcs and Freight Forwarding
93. Shilpi Singh
94. Sangeeta Dhir, Ex Principal and Head Operations- MMI school
95. Rohit Kumar, Teacher
96. Rajvir Singh Tomar, Support Staff office
97. Manish Sinha, Travel Business
98. Shilpi Sinha, Travel Business
99. Jaideep Ahuja, Engineer
100. Ashraf Patel, Youth Worker
101. Kizie Basu, Consultant
102. Md Shahbaz, Software Engineer , Gurugram
103. Mohd Tanvir Ansari, Software Engineer
104. Saba Khan, Fashion Designer
105. Ms. Khalida Qureshi , Educator-Chemistry
106. Jibran Khalid Masood, Commercial Leasing at Emaar India
107. Nalini Ganguly , Resident of Gurgaon
108. Madan Gopal Singh, Singer, Composer
109. Dr. Anirudh Deshpande, Associate Professor, Department of History
110. Shahid Qureshi , Gurgaon Resident
111. Harsh Neerav, Assistant Professor
112. Prof. Maqsood Siddiqi, Medical Scientist
113. Nabila Sharieff , Engineer
114. Arjun Thakran, Businessman
115. Shantanu Bhanja , Corporate professional, CEO
116. Muhammad Danish Khan, Sr. Team Manager - BPO
117. Vivek Khemka , Management Consultant
118. Rajender Arora , Gurgaon Resident
119. SH Grewal , Gurgaon Resident
120. Javed khan, Teacher
121. Pritha Ghosh, Social Worker
122. Saumya Baijal , Gurgaon Resident
123. Shubhra Puri, Founder, Social Enterprise
125. Amit, Working president, Workers Solidarity Centre, Gurgaon