Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Friday said “namaz in open spaces will not be tolerated”, while announcing temporary suspension on public prayer services amid protests.
CM Khattar told the media said all previous sanctions given for public prayers stood nullified and the state government will now work out an “amicable solution that will uphold all rights and ensure no encroachment or exploitation”. Until then, he said, there would be no namaz offering in public places.
“I have told the police to resolve this issue. There is no problem with people offering namaz or puja at the designated places. The religious places are designated for that. But the act of offering namaz in open spaces will not be tolerated. The issue will be resolved amicably,” he said.
“There should be no law and order situation or any tension about same. We got to know that there was a meeting between groups and some places were agreed upon or allocated but we, with immediate effect, withdraw all and will work out an amicable solution soon,” he said, while referring to a recent agreement made by the Gurugram administration.
“They have said they have some lands where permission should be given. We will see if there is any land of Waqf that has been encroached so that it can be made available. People can offer namaz at their homes. But doing it in open spaces may create conflicts. There should be no interference in people’s rights. But forcefully doing something will not be tolerated. We will help Waqf board to get their spaces free of encroachment. Till then, people should offer prayers at their legal sites, homes etc. We won’t infringe on any rights but nobody’s allowed to bully,” he added.
(With input from agencies)