Congress leader writes to UP DGP, demands ban on RSS shakhas after cops stop Friday prayers in Noida

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A Congress leader in Uttar Pradesh has written to the state’s Director General of Police asking him to ban the daily gathering, also known as Shakhas, of the RSS in local parks. The letter by Sampooranand, who is local Congress leader in UP, comes days after the state police passed an order, banning the Friday prayers at a local park in Noida.

Shakhas

The letter by Sampooranand, who also copied the state’s chief secretary, referred a recent police order to MNCs in Noida, asking them to stop their Muslim employees from gathering in the local park for the Friday prayers. It says, “Today, RSS shakhas are taking place without any permission in the public parks and messages to divide the society are being propagated. Sir, the Gautambuddha Nagar (Noida) Police has issued a circular to all MNCs to ban employees of a certain community from offering prayers in public parks. I urge you to issue an order that bans religious and political activities of all faiths in public parks where the administration has allowed the permission.”

Sampooranand was later quoted by news agency ANI, “I have written to a letter to DGP, why does the rule not apply to RSS Shakhas, why only Namaz not allowed in public places? This was an unnecessary order from UP administration. It is about rule of law.”

Earlier this week, the Noida Police had sent a 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.

Pankaj Rai, the SHO of Sector 58 Police Station in Noida, had later told Janta Ka Reporter, “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.”

The move had evoked angry reactions from the members of civil society, which accused the state government of targeting Muslims in the state to polarise voters ahead of the next year’s Lok Sabha polls.

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