Noida: A day after Uttar Pradesh police notified private firms to ask their Muslim employees to refrain from offering namaz in a local park, Noida’s District Magistrate BN Singh revoked the order saying companies and business houses are not liable for employees’ religious beliefs and prayers. “The district administration will talk to the companies and clear their doubts,” said Singh.
Speaking on the namaz row, Singh said, “This is a Supreme court’s order. The order applies to all religion, one cannot pray in public places. Everybody should respect the order of SC. The administration is bound by the SC rule.”
The Noida police asking several multi-national companies to bar their employees from offering namaz at a park in Sector 58 created much furore on Tuesday.
After much controversy, a senior police officer clarified that the ban wasn’t for “any particular religion” but for everybody in order to maintain law and order. Following the controversy, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi hit out at the Uttar Pradesh government alleging that the UP police would shower petals on kanwariyas, but told the Muslims that whatever they did, ‘it was their mistake’.
Taking to the micro-blogging site, Owaisi tweeted, “UP Cops literally showered petals for Kanwariyas, but Namaz once a week can mean disrupting peace and harmony. This is telling Muslims– aap kuch bhi karlo, ghalti to aapki hi hogi. Also, by law, how does one hold an MNC liable for what their employees do in an individual capacity?”
The Noida Sector 58 police station on Tuesday, sent a notice to companies present at the industrial area saying it will be held liable if their employees gather at the park to offer prayers. “We want to inform you that there is no permission from the administration to conduct any kind religious activity including Namaz, which is offered on Friday in the Authority park in Sector 58. It has often been seen that the Muslim workers of your company assemble in the park to offer Namaz and I, the SHO, have told them to not hold prayers,” Senior House Officer, Sector 58, Pankaj Rai, had said in his notice.
“If your employees come to the park, it will be assumed that you have not informed employees and your company will be held liable.”
“They were apprised about it and the same information was given to the various companies through a notice — not for a particular religion but for everybody. It is a request to all to please cooperate with us in order to ensure peace and security,” he urged.