The Aligarh administration has banned the act of performing religious activities on roads like Namaz and Aarti after Hindu groups launched a protest which involved chanting Hanuman Chalisa on roads every Tuesday and Saturday, Times of India has reported.
This protest which also involved performing Maha Aarti was in retaliation to Namaz being offered on public roads, especially on Friday.
As per Aligarh District Magistrate C B Singh, the ban encompasses various religions and no group would be permitted to perform either Aarti or Namaz on the roads. The District Magistrate though exempted particular occasions like Eid, which necessitates gathering of a large number of people.
The District Magistrate also added that permission would need to be taken beforehand in-case a Muslim group seeks to perform Friday Namaz on public roads.
This decision by the administration was reportedly a result of Hindu groups as well as BJP leaders taking part in Maha Aarti and Hanuman Chalisa recitation last Saturday (20 July).
BJP Aligarh General Secretary Manav Mahajan was quoted as saying, “If one community can block the road for offering namaz, then why can’t the Hindus perform Maha Aarti on roads”.
After stating that roads are for commuting and not for religious activities, he expressed gratitude to those who challenged the practice of offering Namaz on roads.