Three years after the first incident, on Friday, a group of residents again objected to the open prayer in Sector 47 of Gurugram, as police moved the prayer space 100 meters from its original location.

The prayer was held amid a heavy police presence, as at least 70-80 people carried banners and raised slogans and tried to walk towards the site. The police set up a security cordon and stopped them.

Aman Yadav, ACP Sadar, said, “The prayer was being performed peacefully. In the past week, we had meetings with representatives of the two communities and we are working to resolve the issue.”

At 12:40 p.m., residents gathered near the site and sang religious songs using a microphone and portable speaker. They also raised slogans against the government for its failure to stop the prayer of other sects in public places.

This row dates back to 2018. The Haryana state government had focused on 23 places open for Friday worshipers with an alternate judge each to oversee security. Six places have also been identified in neighboring Manesar where police have been deployed.

The “breakthrough” was achieved after talks between minority representatives and the police commissioner, in which it was initially agreed that the police would be deployed in 13 open places, but later increased to 23 places.

Manohar Lal Khattar, chief minister of Haryana state, caused an uproar after saying that prayers should only be held in designated places of worship, not in open spaces.

The wave of unrest started on April 20, 2018 when a group of men gathered somewhere for Friday prayers, but were interrupted by men chanting “Jai Shri Ram”, who asked people to keep them away. The video went viral and a week later, on April 26, 2018, six men were arrested for violence.

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