Outrage as Jamaat bars walkers from campus
For many early morning and night walkers of Abul Fazal Enclave there was only one place to get fresh air all these years: Lush-green campus of Jamaat-e-Islami (Hind).
But not anymore! Since the outbreak of the second Covid wave months ago, the Muslim organisation which has its headquarters in a densely populated Muslim locality has stopped local residents from walking on the campus, upsetting many.
A resident, who used to walk regularly on the campus at night for years, told the OT over phone that for months the guard has not allowed him entry. By doing so the religious organisation is losing whatever goodwill it had among the local residents, he said on the condition of anonymity.
JIH spokesperson Syed Tanveer told the OT over phone that this is not the case. “During Covid period residents were not allowed due to Covid protocol. It was only two days ago that there were many residents walking in morning on the campus. We have seen residents don’t follow Covid protocol and we are worried about it. We will certainly open it up like old days very soon. Some measures were taken for Covid and residents’ safety,” he said.
However, a security guard stationed on the JIH campus said walkers are not allowed anymore on the campus. “We are helpless. We have orders from the top not to allow any walker on the campus and there are CCTV cameras all over and if they see anybody walking on the campus, we are reprimanded for not stopping them,” he said while having a conversation with this reporter.
For more than 20 years, the campus was open from the local residents, but not anymore with guards manning the gates 24X7, said a resident.
A stay-at-home mother of two, who was regular at JIH campus, at night with two women of the locality, said it is distressing to see that how a religious organisation is acting by blocking entry to local walkers at a time when everything has turned normal.
“I can understand their concern when they had stopped entry of local residents during Covid but now everything is normal there is nothing wrong in allowing people to walk with their mouth covered,” she said.
A walker said it appears that the JIH is getting complacent and some officials are treating Ummah’s property as their personal asset, which is atrocious and highly condemnable.
Many residents still remember how a few months ago JIH had even stopped local residents to enter their campus. Later on in protest some residents had locked the two gates of JIH from outside. After days of standoff, JIH officials agreed to allow outsiders to use their campus as a common passage to reach other side of the block in Abul Fazal Enclave.