Gurugram, May 11: Gurugram authorities have appointed 76 Duty Magistrates to oversee offering of Friday prayers by the Muslims, an official said on Thursday. Hindutva outfits in Gurugram had on Wednesday urged the district authorities to designate open spaces for Friday prayers away from temples. They also sought a verification of citizenship documents of persons offering Muslim prayers in the open areas. Also Read - 'No Friday Prayers,' Orders Muslim Law Board Due to Coronavirus Lockdown

A 15-member team comprising five Muslims from the corporate sector, five ‘imams’ and five Muslim villagers was formed to visit all 76 sites in the city where ‘namaz’ is offered in the open and try to bring down the number. Right-wing Hindu groups visited at least six places in the city where namaz was offered every Friday and allegedly prevented people from doing so. Also Read - Gurugram Shuts All Theatres, Malls, Weekly Bazaars, Gyms Till March 31 in View of COVID-19 in India

“Police had identified 76 sites where ‘namaz’ is offered in the open. The team had time till Thursday morning to visit all of these sites and ensure that the Friday prayers on coming Friday was not offered on greenbelts and roads. But since no final decision was taken till late Thursday, the administration appointed 76 Duty Magistrates to maintain law and order,” a government spokesperson said in a statement.
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Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday backed the members of right-wing Hindu groups, who allegedly prevented people from offering namaz at open spaces in Gurugram. He said that there was a considerable rise in people offering namaz in open, which should be read in Mosques or Idgahs.

“Our point of view is that Namaz should be offered in the precincts of religious places like mosques and Eidgahs, and if there is a shortage of place for offering Namaz, it should be done at private places,” Khattar said. However, the Chief Minister later issued a clarification and said, “I haven’t spoken about stopping anyone. Maintaining law and order is the duty of the police and the administration.”