Religious activities on public roads that hinder traffic will not be allowed in Uttar Pradesh barring special occasions, the police said on Wednesday. Verbal orders have been issued to organise peace committee meetings between communities to ensure that the order is implemented in a harmonious manner, news agency PTI reported.
"Directives have been issued to ensure that the spill-over of activities like 'namaz or aarti' do not come on the roads hindering movement of vehicular traffic and this will be implemented all over the state," UP police chief Om Prakash was quoted by news agency PTI as saying.
"On special occasions, on special festivals, some relaxation can be given. But normally, we will not let this happen. In Aligarh, our district magistrate has issued an order to this effect, and we will follow this in other districts as well," he told NDTV.
The directive was issued to avoid hindrance to traffic due to religious activities like offering "namaz" and "aarti" on roads in the state, the police said.
A similar order was issued in Aligarh after Hindu groups had opposed Muslim gatherings on roads near mosques, threatening to hold "Hanuman Chalisa" recitals, news agency PTI reported.
The Aligarh administration had taken a tough stand on the issue, banning all religious practices on roads to ensure peace and order.
Over the last few years, prayers offered in public places have led to controversies in many parts of the country.
Last year, the Noida police had told multinational companies in Sector-58 to direct their employees not to offer Friday prayers in a community park. The notice had also warned the companies that they would be held liable for any violation by their employees.
In Haryana's Gurgaon, "namaz" was reportedly disturbed at many places in the city.
In June this year, members of the BJP youth wing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha gathered near Kolkata and recited "Hanuman Chalisa" on the road. It was their way of protesting against the "blocking of roads" by Muslims during Friday prayers, they said.
With inputs from PTI
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