In a controversial circular, the Noida Police has 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.
In its circular, Pankaj Rai, the SHO of Sector 58 Police Station, wrote that the MNCs will be held liable for consequences if their employees are found to be praying in the park. The letter read, “This is to inform you the administration has not allowed any religious activities including the Friday namaz in the Sector 58 park, owned by the Noida Authority. We’ve often noticed that Muslim employees of your companies come here to offer namaz in groups. The local SHO has warned them not to do so.”
The circular then went on to add that the it was the duty of the MNCs to stop their employees from gathering in the park to offer prayers. It read, “If your employees still gather in the park (to offer namaz), then we will conclude that you haven’t informed them about it and companies will be held liable for violation.”
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.”
Noida is a city in Uttar Pradesh, joining the border with Delhi. Uttar Pradesh currently has a BJP government headed by Yogi Adityanath, who’s known for his anti-Muslim agenda.