Communal attacks

In Gurgaon, Hindutva groups claim to have stopped Friday namaaz in several open spaces

Members of the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti say they prevented Muslims from holding prayers in ten locations.

Hindutva groups in Haryana’s Gurgaon said they had stopped Muslims from praying in several open spaces on Friday.

The disruptions came two weeks after Hindu residents of two villages in Gurgaon’s Sector 53 had stopped namaaz in an open space where around 700 Muslim men gathered every Friday afternoon. The villagers alleged that Muslims used the weekly prayers as an excuse to encroach on government land.

By 1.30 pm on Friday, members of the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti said that they had prevented namaaz from being conducted in 10 open spaces in areas that included Atul Kataria Chowk, Sikanderpur, Cyber Park Sector 40, Wazirabad and Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road. The Samiti is an umbrella body of the local units of 12 Hindutva groups including the Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Shiv Sena, Hindu Jagran Manch and the, Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Kranti Dal, according to its members.

“Muslims have to take permission of the administration to pray in open spaces,” said Rajeev Mittal, national coordinator of the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Kranti Dal. “Members of Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti have today [Friday] interfered in 10 cases where Muslims were found preparing before the namaaz. We did not let that happen. But no law and order issues were reported. Our demand was clear – get permission from the authorities.”

Abhishek Gaur, district president of Bajrang Dal in Gurgaon added: “Members of our group are looking out for open space namaaz today and they have been asked to stop the Muslims whenever they spot any without getting into any law and order trouble.”

Residents of Gurgaon confirmed some of the disruptions. Documentary film maker Rahul Roy, who lives near Sikanderpur, said that the namaaz outside the metro station had to stop around 1.30 pm when three or four packed vehicles arrived there. “The men tried to storm into the area where the namaaz was taking place,” he said. “They were stopped by the police and finally they left. The Muslims were too terrified to resume the namaaz.”

Social media users also witnessed some of the disruptions.

On Friday afternoon, senior police officials in Gurgaon said that no complaints had been received in connection with any of the namaaz disruptions. “Our duty is to maintain law and order,” said Ravinder Kumar, Gurgaon Police spokesperson. “It is the district administration’s call on where it would allow namaaz to happen and where not.”

Gurgaon divisional commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh did not respond to phone calls and messages till the time this report was filed.

The situation has been tense since April 20, when Hindu residents of the villages of Wazirabad and Kanhai descended on a field in Gurgaon’s Sector 53 where hundreds of Muslim men had gathered for namaaz and forced them to leave. After a video of the incident surfaced on social media, six persons were arrested for hurting religious sentiments. They were later released on bail.

On April 27, the namaaz at Sector 53 took place only because there was intense police deployment. But this week, Muslims canceled the prayers in Sector 53 fearing attacks by Hindus from nearby villages and members of local Hindutva outfits who have led protests against them, said Hafeez Junaid, who along with his brothers organise the prayers in the Sector 53 ground.

Abhishek Gaur of Bajrang Dal said that stopping the namaaz in Sector 53 was the group’s first achievement. “Now, we have to make sure that namaaz stops in all open grounds in Gurgaon one after another,” he said.

While, so far, no word has come from the district administration on whether Muslims will now be required to obtain written permission from the authorities to organise prayers in open spaces, Gurgaon Police has prepared a list that has seen of 35 open spaces where security has to be stepped up.

Earlier in the day, Hindu residents of Wazirabad and Kanhai villages had insisted that if Muslims gathered for the Friday prayers on the open ground in Sector 53, they would organise a havan or Hindu fire ritual in the same place. When the Muslims in the area stepped back, the Hindus changed their plans too. “No havan will happen now,” said Sube Singh Vohra, former sarpanch of Wazirabad village.

On Monday, the Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti, which was formed after the April 20 incident, had organised a protest outside the secretariat demanding that the authorities put a stop to prayers organised by Muslims in open spaces in the vicinity of Hindu-dominated neighbourhoods.

On Thursday, a group of around 130 residents of Gurgaon wrote to the divisional commissioner protesting against the demands of the Hindutva groups. They urged to the district administration to assuage fear of the Muslim community and support upholding of their constitutional rights to peacefully pray without any fear or intimidation, said Radha Khan, one of the signatories in the letter.

There are 22 mosques in Gurgaon, the biggest one being a half-constructed structure in Sector 57 that is now tied up in a legal dispute. Gurgaon’s Muslims also gather for Friday prayers in an estimated 106 open spaces. The Sector 53 ground was the second open space in Gurgaon at which Muslims began to conduct Friday prayers. The first spot was in Sector 29.

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at
Sponsored Content BY 

Can a colour encourage creativity and innovation?

The story behind the universally favoured colour - blue.

It was sought after by many artists. It was searched for in the skies and deep oceans. It was the colour blue. Found rarely as a pigment in nature, it was once more precious than gold. It was only after the discovery of a semi-precious rock, lapis lazuli, that Egyptians could extract this rare pigment.

For centuries, lapis lazuli was the only source of Ultramarine, a colour whose name translated to ‘beyond the sea’. The challenges associated with importing the stone made it exclusive to the Egyptian kingdom. The colour became commonly available only after the invention of a synthetic alternative known as ‘French Ultramarine’.

It’s no surprise that this rare colour that inspired artists in the 1900s, is still regarded as the as the colour of innovation in the 21st century. The story of discovery and creation of blue symbolizes attaining the unattainable.

It took scientists decades of trying to create the elusive ‘Blue Rose’. And the fascination with blue didn’t end there. When Sir John Herschel, the famous scientist and astronomer, tried to create copies of his notes; he discovered ‘Cyanotype’ or ‘Blueprints’, an invention that revolutionized architecture. The story of how a rugged, indigo fabric called ‘Denim’ became the choice for workmen in newly formed America and then a fashion sensation, is known to all. In each of these instances of breakthrough and innovation, the colour blue has had a significant influence.

In 2009, the University of British Columbia, conducted tests with 600 participants to see how cognitive performance varies when people see red or blue. While the red groups did better on recall and attention to detail, blue groups did better on tests requiring invention and imagination. The study proved that the colour blue boosts our ability to think creatively; reaffirming the notion that blue is the colour of innovation.

When we talk about innovation and exclusivity, the brand that takes us by surprise is NEXA. Since its inception, the brand has left no stone unturned to create excusive experiences for its audience. In the search for a colour that represents its spirit of innovation and communicates its determination to constantly evolve, NEXA created its own signature blue: NEXA Blue. The creation of a signature color was an endeavor to bring something exclusive and innovative to NEXA customers. This is the story of the creation, inspiration and passion behind NEXA:


To know more about NEXA, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of NEXA and not by the Scroll editorial team.