Delhi Muslims take over roads, block traffic for Friday Prayers
Posted by jagoindia on April 28, 2010
“The problem of namazis spilling over on to the roads is not limited to Madni Mosque. We face this problem all over Delhi.
Rahul Tripathi & Abhinav Garg, TNN, Apr 21, 2010
NEW DELHI: Residents of Aravali Apartment in Alaknanda in south Delhi and people offering namaz at a local mosque are locked in a dispute over the devout occupying road space and blocking traffic in the area. The residents had filed a contempt petition against Delhi Police after the Delhi high court passed an order in January last year asking the cops to ensure that the prayers were offered within the walls of the mosque.
However, on Tuesday the HC dismissed the contempt petition after getting an assurance from the police that the area beyond the mosque boundary will be kept free of the namazis. The Madni mosque is located at Gate no. 10 of Aravali Apartment and more than 600 people offer prayers every Friday, forcing closure of the road. Recently, more than 300 cops were deployed to prevent the namazis from coming to the road but they have pleaded that it’s not possible for them to make this arrangement every Friday.
“The problem of namazis spilling over on to the roads is not limited to Madni Mosque. We face this problem all over Delhi. The mosques do not have the capacity to accommodate so many people due to which they are forced to offer prayers on the road. We have to close down one carriageway near Mata Anandmai Marg every Friday. A lot of our manpower is being wasted on these arrangements,” said a senior police officer.
He claimed they have been making efforts to comply with the high court order. “Between February and March 2010, we have detained 113 people for encroaching on the road while offering prayers. They were booked under section 65 of Delhi Police Act,” the officer added.
The cops had also called a meeting with 23 representatives of the Muslim community after which notices were put up around the mosque about the high court order. Meanwhile, representatives of the mosque too had filed a contempt petition against Delhi Police and the residents for not allowing them to offer prayers. A complaint has also been sent to the ministry of home affairs. Speaking to TOI, the Imam of the mosque, Mufti Nasimuddin Qasmi, said, “We have been forced to go on to the road to offer prayers. The place where we used to offer prayers has been taken up by the residents for parking. It is the courtyard of the mosque and namazis have the right to offer prayers there. We have been cooperating with Delhi Police.”
RWA vice-president R G Gupta said, “When the allotments of the flats were made, the mosque did not exist. It came up during the construction of the apartments and has been made in connivance with the contractor.” After receiving an assurance from the police, Justice G S Sistani made it clear in his order on Tuesday that they would be bound in future by the assurance given in court that the HC’s orders will be complied with.