Prayagraj: After the video of a patient’s attendant offering namaz outside a ward at a government hospital went viral, the police say they have “taken note” and “directed necessary action”, while hospital authorities have also set up an inquiry panel and “warned against such activity”.
But many on social media have asked what’s wrong if someone prays for the well-being of their loved ones. The video went viral on WhatsApp groups and other platforms in the past 24 hours, with the comment that it’s illegal to offer prayers in public spaces.
“We have issued a strict warning against such activities in the ward. It is a public place,” said Dr MK Akhauri, chief medical superintendent at Tej Bahadur Sapru Hospital. He said the woman was with a patient admitted in the dengue ward. “But we have issued stern instructions to all ward in-charges against such a thing. We told the woman not to do it again, too. We will decide on further action after the probe report is in.”
Prayagraj Police responded to a tweet about the incident. “Cognizance of the video has been taken, and the concerned has been directed to take necessary action as per rules,” the police tweet, in Hindi, said.
वीडियों का संज्ञान लिया गया है सम्बन्धित को जांचकर नियमानुसार आवश्यक कार्यवाही हेतु निर्देशित किया गया।
— PRAYAGRAJ POLICE (@prayagraj_pol) September 23, 2022
In another case in Uttar Pradesh a couple of months ago, a huge controversy erupted after a group of men were filmed offering namaz at a mall in Lucknow. The men were later arrested but got bail in the subsequent days.
In neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, a mall in Bhopal witnessed protests by Hindu right-wing groups after some employees were recorded praying in a corner of the mall.