Hawzah News Agency (New Delhi, India) – An Imam leading the offering of prayer (or 'namaz') on private land in Gurugram's Basai was detained by the city police on Friday for allegedly holding the prayer without prior permission from authorities. The landlord, Shri Krishan, was also detained.
The two were later let off after they gave in writing that they would not allow offering of namaz on the land in question.
Imam Abdul Wahid was leading the Friday prayers at Basai Chowk on Friday afternoon when a police team reached the spot and asked whether he had permission to hold namaz on the land.
Mr. Wahid told the police that the local Muslim committee had taken permission from Mr. Krishan and had paid rent to use the land.
The police, however, detained the Imam, as well as Mr. Krishan, and took them to the police station.
The two were later released on intervention of Muslim Rashtriya Manch chief Hazi Shahzad Khan.
Angry and scared
Later, the Muslim community members held a meeting at Mr. Khan's residence to express anger over the incident. The attendees said that the incident had led to a sense of fear in the community. The group said it has decided to meet Gurugram's Commissioner of Police and Deputy Commissioner on Saturday to seek protection and permission to offer prayer on the private land.
Gurugram police spokesperson Subhash Boken said the police team had gone to the spot after they received information that namaz was being offered without permission from the authorities.
He said that prayer or namaz could be held only at places designated by the local administration. This decision was made after controversy over the offering of namaz at public places earlier this year.
Mr. Khan alleged that the police misbehaved with the Imam and kept him in custody for almost three hours.