Three years after the first incident, a group of residents on Friday again objected to prayers being offered in the open at Gurugram’s Sector 47, as the police shifted the prayer site by 100 metres from its original spot.
The prayers were offered amid heavy police presence as at least 70-80 people, carrying placards, raised slogans and tried to march towards the site. Police created a security cordon and stopped them.
Aman Yadav, ACP Sadar, said, “Prayers were offered peacefully. In the last week, we have held meetings with representatives of both two communities and we are working towards resolving the issue."
At 12:40 pm, residents gathered near the site and sang religious songs using a mic and a portable speaker. They also raised slogans against the government for failing to stop the prayers by other community being held in public places.
The row dates back to 2018. The Haryana government had zeroed in on 23 open spaces for the Friday prayer congregation with a duty magistrate each to oversee security. Also, six places in neighbouring Manesar were identified where police were deployed.
The “breakthrough" was achieved after talks between the representatives of the minority community and the police commissioner. Initially, it was agreed that police will be deployed at 13 open spaces. However, it was later increased to 23.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had then created a stir after he had said that prayers should be offered at dedicated places of worship only, and not in open spaces.
The spate of disruptions began on April 20, 2018 when a group of men gathered at a ground to offer Friday prayers but were disrupted by men shouting “Jai Shri Ram”, who asked the people to dismiss. The video went viral and a week later, on April 26, 2018, six men were arrested for violence.