There would be no namaz on the roads near the mosques in six districts of Meerut range on this Bakrid and on Fridays. Senior officials have issued strict instructions to district authorities not to allow any namaz on roads as it causes disruption on roads.

This has caused unease among the Muslim clerics as a large number of people turn up for namaz on special occasions like Eid and Fridays. In view of the large gathering in the mosques for namaz on these special occasions, people who do not accommodate inside the mosque sit outside and offer prayers. This decision could be problematic for these namazis.

A delegation led by Nayab Shahar Kazi Zainur Rasheedin called on district authorities in this regard requesting them to consider their request to rethink about the decision but the officials refused to give a second thought to it. The clerics and senior members of the community, however, have decided to follow the orders and are searching for alternate options. “We are law-abiding citizens and will follow the directions of the administration,” said Nayab Kazi Rasheedin.

There are many mosques in all six districts of the zone and almost all of these are situated close to the main roads. During the namaz on Fridays and festivals such as Eid, people are forced to offer namaz on roads which blocks the traffic leading to jams. In his statement, IG Meerut range Alok Singh said that instructions have been given to police superintendents of all districts of the range (Noida, Ghaziabad, Hapur, Bulandshahar, Bagpat, and Meerut) to ensure hassle-free movement of traffic during namaz on Eid.

The IG said that roads are for smooth flow of traffic hence we will not allow anyone to create blockade without prior permission. Besides, the officials have also been directed by the top brass to make tight security arrangements during the namaz on Bakrid which is on August 12.

Meanwhile, Nayab Kazi conducted a meeting with the officials of different mosques in this regard to ensure full compliance with the orders of authorities after their talks with the officials failed. “It has been decided that Mosque officials will use a roadside strip to offer namaz but not the main road,” said Kazi.

Meanwhile, SSP Meerut Ajay Kumar Sahni has asked Mosque officials to ensure that roads are not blocked during namaz otherwise stern action would be initiated on charges of blocking traffic on roads. Police have identified at least three mosques in the city where namaz is offered on roads thereby causing traffic jams.

Kari Shafiqur Rehman, district president of Milli Council, said that roads are used for namaz only when the masjids are overcrowded otherwise we offer namaz inside the mosque or on rooftops.

“We all are law-abiding citizens and will follow the official dictate,” said Amir Sikander, a businessman, adding that this, however, is unfortunate that officials are issuing warnings. It would have been better that the officials would have tried to work out alternative arrangements to offer namaz on occasions when there is a massive turnout, he added.