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Delhi: Muslim employees denied break during Ramzan after BJP objects

New Delhi: In two instances, Delhi governmental bodies withdraw circulars which granted Muslim employees a concession from work during Ramzan. The withdrawal came about after opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Within hours of issuing a circular allowing its Muslim employees a two-hour break from work daily during Ramzan, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on Monday rescinded the directions after opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“The competent authority has accorded approval to allow short leave (of approx. two hours a day) by the concerned DDO/controlling officer to the Muslim employees during the days of Ramzan i.e., April 3 to May 2 or till the date of Idu’l fitr is declared, subject to the condition that they will accomplish their work during the remaining office hours so that the office work does not suffer,” the DJB circular read.

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Latching on to it, Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta tweeted: “On the one hand, thousands of vends in Delhi have been distributing intoxication by giving 25 percent discount on liquor during Navratri. On the other hand, Delhi Jal board employees have been given 2-hour off from work to offer Namaz during Ramzan. If this is not appeasement then what is?”

The utility said in the evening that the competent authority has decided to withdraw the circular with “immediate effect.”

New Delhi Municipal Council withdraws similar order:

A mere two days later, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) on Wednesday withdrew its order which allowed all its Muslim employees who are observing the fast during the month of Ramzan to leave office early. However, an official circular issued on Wednesday said, “The competent authority has decided to withdraw the order with immediate effect.”

The order, issued on Tuesday, was opposed by NDMC Vice Chairman Satish Upadhyay, saying any such directive was not secular.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Upadhyay had said, “I have spoken to NDMC Chairman and the Competent Authority of the civic body and urged him to immediately withdraw the order allowing Muslim employees to leave office at 4.30 pm during Ramzan.”

“I never knew of any such order and as it came to my knowledge I opposed such order which is unsecular,” he said.

With PTI inputs

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