Indian Catholic News

Aligarh bans religious activities on roads

The practice started from Hapur and is now being held in more than half a dozen districts in western UP.

People offer namaz on Eid-ul-Fitr, in Bengaluru, on June 5, 2019. (Photo: IANS)

The Aligarh administration has banned religious activities on roads after some organisations started reciting 'Hanuman Chalisa' and performing 'maha aarti'on the streets every Tuesday in response to Muslims offering namaaz on the roads.

Aligarh District Magistrate C.B. Singh said the ban was also applicable on offering namaaz on roads, but exempted on occasions such as Eid, when a large number of people gather.

He added that no religious activities, including the Friday namaaz, were allowed on roads without any prior permission. He explained that everyone has freedom to follow their religion but at their own places of worship and not on roads.

"I have spoken to representatives of organisations that have been indulging in such activities in the recent past and apprised them about the sensitivity of the issue. The law and order situation cen be adversely affected by such activities. Aligarh, in any case, is a communally sensitive district," he said.

In retaliation to minority community offering namaaz on roads, several right wing outfits such as Bajrang Dal had started organising Hanuman aarti every Tuesday and Saturday outside temples in the city, leading to chaos on the streets.

The practice started from Hapur and is now being held in more than half a dozen districts in western UP.

Last Saturday, BJP leader and former Aligarh mayor Shakuntala Bharti also participated in one such gathering.

BJP General Secretary of the Aligarh city unit, Manav Mahajan said: "If one community can block the road for offering namaaz, then why can't the Hindus perform maha aarti on roads?"

However, Hindus do not block roads as they have several temples available, he claimed.

Mahajan said that he was thankful to the people who started this tradition to confront the practice of offering namaaz on roads. "At least, this is an issue for debate now," he said.

Source: IANS

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