Senior officials in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida on Tuesday defended the police notice to companies in Sector 58 of the industrial hub asking them to stop their Muslim employees from offering namaz in a public park.
Gautam Budh Nagar’s district magistrate BN Singh said the officers were doing their duty and according to senior superintendent of police (SSP) Ajay Pal Sharma, the move to stop namaz in the park was not discriminatory. Noida comes under Gautam Budh Nagar.
“As per the Supreme Court order in 2009, to hold any religious ceremony in public place, it is essential to seek permission from the police and administration. There was no malafide intention in the notice and the police officers were doing their duty, following the orders of the SC,” said Singh.
Amid accusations that the language used by the in-charge of Sector 58 police station in the notice to companies was discriminatory, Singh said, “I beg to differ because at the beginning of the notice it has been stated that no permission has been granted by the administration to hold any sort of religious gathering.”
In the notice, station house officer Pankaj Rai had said companies in Sector 58 will be held responsible if their employees are found violating the order.
“It has to made aware that the administration has not given any permission to hold any kind of religious activity, wherein offering Friday prayers, in the park in Sector 58. It has been often noticed that some of your Muslim employees gather in the park in Sector 58 to offer namaz on Fridays,” Rai had said in the notice.
“They have been asked publicly by me not to do so and who have not been given any permission by the city magistrate on their earlier application,” Rai said.
“Please ask all your Muslim employees not to offer namaz in the park. If they still go to the park to offer prayers, then your company will be held responsible for the violation.”
Reports said the companies have sought a meeting with senior police officers for clarification on the notice and also planned to approach the court against the order.
SSP Sharma said a letter signed by at least 200-300 people was sent to the city magistrate and police around December 8, seeking permission to offer namaz in the public park of Sector 58.
“The permission to hold namaz was not granted by the city magistrate and police officials conveyed the decision to the people who had gathered in the park. The move was not discriminating against any community,” said Sharma.
First Published: Dec 25, 2018 16:59 IST