Asaduddin Owaisi has lashed out against Uttar Pradesh Police after a notice was issued in Noida's Sector 58 which prohibited the offering of prayers in public places. The All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen Party chief questioned the reasoning given for the order and asked how offering prayers can disrupt peace and harmony.
The Noida Poice had issued an order directing the managers of industrial units and multi-national companies to restrict their employees from offering prayers in open public spaces in Sector 58, which 'caused inconvenience to the general public.' Owaisi came down hard against the order and accused the cops of targetting Muslims. "UP Cops literally showered petals for Kanwariyas, but namaz once a week can mean “disrupting peace & harmony," he tweeted on Wednesday. "This is telling Muslims: aap kuch bhi karlo, ghalti to aapki hi hogi (You can do whatever, the fault is yours). Also, by law, how does one hold an MNC liable for what their employees do in individual capacity?"
The notice issued had indeed warned that the firms would be held responsible for any breach of this directive.
As expected, it has led to a massive backlash with many accusing UP cops of bias and alleging that the order is directed at Muslims who offer Namaz in open public spaces. It is a charge that has been denied by SP Ajay Pal who told news agency ANI that the order was not meant for any 'particular religion.'
What has added fuel to the proverbial fire are comments made by Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar who said that one should offer Namaz in mosques and Eidgahs instead of public places.