Aligarh:The Aligarh administration on Friday banned all religious activities on roads after some groups allegedly started chanting aarti and Hanuman Chalisa on roads in response to minorities offering prayers on streets.
''No religious activities will be allowed on roads without prior permission. I spoke to people involved in such activities and told them about the sensitivity of the issue. The law and order situation can get affected by such activities, especially in communally sensitive areas'', Aligarh District Magistrate C B Singh said here.
He said that the ban was also applicable on offering 'namaz', except for on occasions like the festival of Eid.While BJP leader Manav Mahajan questioned the district administration's decision, Sunni cleric, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Farangi Mahali, urged people not to politicise the issue.
''There are reports of people performing aarti and reciting Hanuman Chalisa in retaliation to namaz being offered on roads. People should understand that only when the mosque is packed to capacity that people are forced to offer prayers on road. Even in other religions, when the place of worship is full, people stand outside to pray,'' Maulana Khalid Rasheed said in Lucknow.
''I would like to request everyone to not to make an issue out of it. Also, people from the minority community should try to offer prayers inside the mosque. I would also like to request my brothers that aarti and Hanuman Chalisa are sacred and should not be used for political interests. The community brotherhood, which has been going on for decades, must be preserved at all costs. At the same time, I would like to request all to cooperate in the ongoing Kanwar Yatra'', the Maulana added.(UNI)