As if the controversial circular to MNCs asking them to stop Muslim employees from offering Friday prayers in the local park was not enough, the authorities on Friday filled the park in Sector 58 with water. This was to ensure that no Muslim devotees could make fresh attempts to offer prayers this Friday.
However, this Friday, three big private companies came forward to provide spaces to Muslim employees so that they could perform their weekly religious obligation. While a majority of Muslim devotees chose to offer namaz near a tomb, adjacent to a park a Sector 54, several dozen employees found spaces in their respective offices.
The owner of a hosiery company in Sector 58, told Hindustan Times while requesting anonymity that he had been arranging a space for his Muslim employees on the rooftop to offer Friday prayers for the past 12 years. He said that while 35-50 people offered Friday prayers in the past, there were 70-80 people present this Friday to offer namaz on the company’s office rooftop. Leading the prayers was Imam Mohammad Abbas. who hails from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh but currently resides in Bhangel village of Noida.
He told HT, “I have been coming to the company every Friday for the past 12 years. It started when the owner was looking for an Imam for his muslim employees. The owner has also arranged for a priest for the Hindu employees of the company. It’s incredible how the environment of mutual respect has been carried for more than a decade.”
Last week, the Noida Police had sent a controversial circular to Multi-National Companies in and around Sector 58 to stop their employees from offering namaz in the local park, owned by the Noida Authority.
Janta Ka Reporter reached out to Pankaj Rai, the signatory of the circular, to ask for the rationale behind the controversial order. Rai said, “This park is owned by the Noida Authority. Earlier 5-10 people used to offer namaz here and locals had no issues, but the number kept increasing and soon around 200 employees from the nearby MNCs began to offer namaz here. Locals then complained about this and we were forced to issue the order. We’ve informed the MNCs to provide space to their employees for namaz and stop them from gathering in the park for prayers.”