New Delhi: The Noida police has issued a bizarre advisory to offices and establishments, asking them to restrict their Muslim employees from offering Friday prayers in open areas. As per the order, companies will be held responsible if their employees are found violating the advisory. Following the directive, which was issued last week, companies in Noida’s industrial hub have sought a meeting with senior police officers, for clarification on the matter.

Meanwhile, the Noida Police has defended the move, saying the advisory was issued  to avoid any untoward incident especially . in the run-up to the forthcoming 2019 Lok sabha elections. Speaking to a leading portal, Pankaj Rai, SHO of the Sector 58 police station said that the notices were sent to companies after they received several complaints regarding a large number of people offering Namaz in the afternoon especially on Fridays.

“Since most people offering prayers are employees in companies nearby, we have sent notices to those companies to ask their employees to either offer Namaz in a Masjid, Eidgah or within the office compound on the roof etc,” Raj added.

Earlier this year, a controversy was erupted in Haryana’s Gurugram after newly-launched right-wing organisation Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti disrupted Friday ‘Namaz’ at 10 places including Atul Kataria Chowk, Sikanderpur, Cyber Park Sector 40, Wazirabad and Mehrauli-Gurgaon road and IFFCO Chow.

Haryana Chief Minister had also courted controversy by saying that one should read Namaz in mosques and Eidgahs instead of public places and if there is a shortage of place for Namaz, then it should be offered at the personal place. These are not such issues which should be displayed at public places.