The spokesperson of a Hindutva organisation told HuffPost India that the residents of Sheetla Mata Colony, in Gurgaon, Haryana have hoisted saffron flags with 'Om' printed on them in their homes to protest against Muslim groups who have demanded that a mosque recently sealed by local civic authorities be reopened.
Haji Shahzad Khan, who heads an organisation called Muslim Ekta Manch, confirmed the news and said that Muslim residents of the area informed him about the flags and that he has witnessed them.
Rajeev Mittal, spokesperson of Sanyukt Hindu Sangharsh Samiti (SHSS), told HuffPost India, "Around 5,000 houses in the locality and around have put up these flags. They are not flags of any group, they are just saffron flags that represent the unity of the Hindus against the recent developments," he said. Mittal said that his organisation had not distributed the flags, but locals have sourced them from markets in Delhi where they are widely sold.
However, a press release Mittal sent HuffPost India on WhatsApp stated that the people have put up the saffron flags following a call to do so by Hindutva groups.
Khan told HuffPost India, "Like a person awarded the death penalty lives their last days in dread, the Muslims in the area are living like that. There's a new directive which has reached the Muslims in the area from the Hindutva groups asking them to vacate shops and homes in the locality," he said.
SHSS also participated in a 'panchayat' held in the premises of the Sheetla Mata temple. The meeting was presided over by Hindu preacher Swami Vivekanand Giri.
Last week, the mosque in a three-storied building in Gurgaon's Sheetla Mata Colony was sealed, allegedly following protests from locals about the volume at which azan was recited. Hindutva groups backed the locals and according to them, an investigation revealed that the authorities did not have adequate permission to run a mosque in that building.
Mittal added that people in the neighbourhood...