On October 4, two persons were found offering namaz at the Panchkula Bus Stand. Shlok Aggarwal, a resident of Panchkula, Haryana, shared a tweet on social media where he raised objection against the practice of using government property for religious activities. He wrote, “Today, two persons of the Muslim community were offering Namaz at Panchkula Bus Stand. What will be the justification of government property if government property starts being used as a religious place like this?” He also urged the Commissioner of Police, Panchkula, to take action against such activities.
आज पंचकूला बस स्टैंड पर मुस्लिम समुदाय के दो व्यक्ति नमाज अदा कर रहे थे। अगर सरकारी संपत्ति को इस तरह धार्मिक स्थल के रूप में प्रयोग किया जाने लगा तो, सरकारी संपत्ति का क्या औचित्य रहेगा। @CP_PANCHKULA इस पर संज्ञान लें। pic.twitter.com/BXZkfsfuop
— Nationalist (@ShlokGoyal01) October 4, 2022
Speaking to OpIndia, Aggarwal said, “I was with my friend Jayant Sharma at the Panchkula Bus Stand when we noticed these two people were offering namaz right inside the premises. When we objected and asked them not to do so, they refused to adhere and completed their prayers. Meanwhile, we approached the Police Beat Box located inside the Bus Stand and urged the Police personnel present to take action against them. However, they said there was no rule against it.”
Jayant Sharma said, “What if Hindus start using public places and government properties for offering prayers like this? Won’t they stop us? Such practices must be stopped. We are law-abiding citizens. There are places of worship where they can offer namaz.”
It is noteworthy that Maheshpur Jama Masjid is a just little over two kilometres away from the Panchkula Bus Stand.
Namaz in public places
This is not the first time the issue of offering namaz in public places has become an issue. In recent times, the issue became a reason for communal tension between Hindus and Muslims in Gurugram, where Muslims in large numbers would travel to public places to offer namaz. The matter resulted in clashes between the two communities, and the authorities had to revoke permissions to offer namaz in public places.