In a decision that could end confrontation between two communities, the Aligarh Shehar mufti, Mohammad Khalid Hameed, has directed administrators of all the mosques in the city to make arrangements for offering Friday namaaz on the terrace of mosques, instead of roads.
The announcement by the Shehar mufti came after the members of the community met the district administrative officials who had banned all religious activities on the streets.
The Mufti told reporters that though there is no provision of offering namaaz on roads, people sometimes do so due to lack of space inside the mosque.
“I have conveyed to all the mosques’ administrators regarding this and they will have to make arrangements on terrace if required,” he said.
He added that on special occasions like Eid and Bakrid, people will offer namaaz on roads at Jama Masjid and Eidgah as the mosques cannot accommodate the people.
District Magistrate C.B. Singh said that for special occasions, the mosques or any other religious institution will have to take a prior permission, which will be provided to them.
“If anyone is caught violating the ban, strict action will be taken against the administrator of the place of worship, irrespective of the religion. Officials will make videos of such violations,” he said.
Singh said that Muslim leaders and Mayor Mohammad Furkan had also supported this stand and assured that it would be followed by their community members.
Right wing activists and Hindu leaders who attended the meeting organised by the Aligarh administration regarding the ban on religious activities, said that they will not do anything until the members of the other community violate the ban.
“We will perform aarti or recite Hanuman Chalisa on roads, if Muslims offer Friday namaaz on roads,” said Gaurav Sharma, convener of Bajrang Dal in Aligarh.