LUCKNOW: The Aligarh administration has put a blanket ban on holding religious functions on roads. The decision came after some Hindutva groups planned the recital of Hanuman Chalisa to protest the offering of namaz on roads.
The district administration took this step as a precautionary measure to prevent any disturbance, a senior official said on Sunday.
The decision, however, did not go down well with leaders of the Hindu Jagran Manch, a Hindutva group that wanted to protest. They announced that they would “defy the ban” and go ahead with their plan.
The state general secretary of the Hindu outfit, Surendra Singh Bhagor, in a video clip publicly challenged the authorities and threatened the Aligarh DM for having banned all religious gatherings on roads.
After the clip went viral on Saturday, he was booked under Sections 147 and 506 (criminal intimidation) and 153 (provocation to cause rioting) of the IPC, an official said, adding that further investigation was on.
Reacting to the whole controversy over namaz on roads, All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahli on Sunday said prayers should not be offered by causing inconvenience to anyone.
“Namaz is a prayer before Allah. It is not right to offer the prayer by causing inconvenience to anyone,” said Mahli.
However, he said namaz on roads was not a daily affair and seen only on Friday.
“In some mosques, when there is no space left for people, they offer prayers on the road on Friday. But if anyone has any objection to it, then the namazis should make an extra effort to reach the mosque in time for it,” he added.