Days after the Uttar Pradesh Police issued an order to ban namaz gathering in Noida parks, the Greater Noida Authority on Wednesday removed an encroachment where some people had gathered to offer a weeklong Bhagwat Katha in Sector 37. The plot was reserved for religious activities but no allotment had been done. Some residents alleged that some people, who didn’t belong to the area, came into the campus and started performing puja in the morning. The Authority was informed and it stopped the programme. The residents also said that around two months ago, these “outsiders” had tried to install a deity on the same spot, but was stopped by the Authority.
This has prompted the Greater Noida Authority to launch a plot allotment scheme for religious activities. Narendra Bhooshan, CEO Greater Noida Authority, said that Authority cleared the encroachment as the plot has not been allotted to anybody. “We will soon launch plot allotment schemes for religious activities. The plots will be allotted with due process and then people can construct places of worship,” he said as quoted by TOI.
Residents of Sector 37 RWA are against the organisation of the Bhagwat Katha because they weren’t informed about the same and also feel that they may also create tension. Some outsiders are planning to install some idols and make a temple in the garb of organising weeklong Bhagwat Katha, Sunita Nagar, Sector 37 RWA president said as quoted by the daily.
Last week the Noida police issued a notice to companies in the Sector 58 industrial hub, that they will be held liable if their employees are found violating the directive. The companies in the Sector 58 industrial hub had sought a meeting with the top Noida Police officers for a better understanding of the order, particularly on the clause that threatens to hold them liable for violations of the order by employees.
A police station in Noida issued notices to 23 private companies asking them to stop their Muslim employees from offering prayers in a local park. Sector 58 Station House Officer (SHO) Pankaj Rai, who issued the notices, cited a Supreme Court order of 2009, which banned unauthorised use of public places for religious activities by all religions.
“We want to inform you that there is no permission from the administration to conduct any kind of religious activity including Namaz offered on Friday in the Authority park in Sector 58. It has been often seen that the Muslim workers of your company assemble in the park to offer Namaz and I, the SHO, have told the group to not hold prayers in the park. Also, their plea to the city magistrate has not received any permission to do so.”
“Thus, it is expected from you that you at your level inform your Muslim employees to not come to the park to offer Namaz. If employees of your company come to the park, it will be assumed that you have not informed your employees and your company will be held liable.”
“Yes, we have sent notices to many companies in our area after several complaints regarding a large number of people offering Namaz in the afternoon especially on Fridays. Since most people offering prayers are employees in companies nearby, we have sent notices to those companies to ask their employees to either offer Namaz in a Masjid, Eidgah or within the office compound on the roof etc,” said Pankaj Rai, SHO of the Sector 58 police station, from where the initial round of notices were issued.
Sector 58 is predominantly an IT and services hub. The companies that have office include Alstom Systems, HCL Technologies, TCS, Samsung, Polaris, Xansa, Interra, R Systems, RMSI, Cadence, Adobe international, ST Microelectronics and Minda Huf.