Uttar Pradesh police has served a notice to companies in Noida stating that they would be held liable if their employees are found offering namaz in public places such as parks. The notice was served after police received complaints about Muslim employees of nearby companies occupying public parks on friday afternoons to offer namaz.
Reportedly, initially only 10-15 people used to gather at public parks for the prayers. However, since past few weeks, around 500-600 people were being witnessed at public parks on Friday afternoons, forcing police department to come up with the notice.
“Yes, we have sent notices to many companies in our area after several complaints regarding a large number of people offering Namaz in the afternoon especially on Fridays. Since most people offering prayers are employees in companies nearby, we have sent notices to those companies to ask their employees to either offer Namaz in a Masjid, Eidgah or within the office compound on the roof etc,” said Pankaj Rai, SHO of the Sector 58 police station, from where the initial round of notices were issued.
“Earlier only around 10-15 people assembled in the parks to offer Friday prayers and there were no complaints regarding that. However, over the last few weeks, the numbers have risen significantly. Over the last couple of weeks, around 500-600 people assembled in the afternoon to offer Namaz and we got several complaints regarding such assembly of people in the public park,” he added.
The initial round of notices were served in sector 58, which is the IT hub of the city. However, there is a growing concern amongst the companies in other areas also. It has also sparked worries that the ambit of the directive could be widened to include other areas in the National Capital Region township. Sector 58 is predominantly an IT and services hub.
The police sources have also noted that as the elections are fast approaching, people offering prayers in public might lead to disharmony. “The elections are approaching and there is some concern on that front too, as it may lead to some disharmony,” he said, adding that companies need not worry about the notices,” Rai said.
“We want to inform you that there is no permission from the administration to conduct any kind of religious activity including Namaz offered on Friday in the Authority park in Sector 58. It has been often seen that the Muslim workers of your company assemble in the park to offer Namaz and I, the SHO, have told the group to not hold prayers in the park. Also, their plea to the city magistrate has not received any permission to do so,” reads the notice.
“Thus, it is expected from you that you at your level inform your Muslim employees to not come to the park to offer Namaz. If employees of your company come to the park, it will be assumed that you have not informed your employees and your company will be held liable,” it further adds.