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Muslim shrines & shops turned into 'pseudo- Hindu' temples
By Batuk Vora

Allama Takiya Masjid,  Ahmadabad

Ahmedabad: People outside Gujarat may not believe this but it can be seen here with naked eyes, defiling the Muslim religious shrines and replacing them with fake Hindu gods of Sangh Parivar!

Most of the 267 shrines, mosques, dargahs, idgahs, Peer dargah and scores of Muslim owned shops and properties and even madrasas have been turned into Hindu 'temples' where people go everyday with coconuts or garlands and lamps worshipping them as if there was no Muslim shrine or shop here!!

One funny name of a stone laid on many destroyed shrines is 'Hulladia Hanuman' (riotous Hanuman), and of course, 'Jai Shri Rama' idols can be seen placed in most of the burnt down properties of Muslims, including garages, shops and cabins! One can see such an organized desecration in Eastern Ahmedabad, in particular. Paresh Tanna, a resident of Bapunagar, said "we see those saffron-banded boys of Bajrang Dal everyday with coconuts and lamps and pretending to worship those gods at burnt down Muslim shops."

Among those 55 mosques and dargahs destroyed in Ahmedabad city alone (as enumerated and identified by Bombay based magazine Communalism' Combat) are Saras Peer Mazar at Paldi, Zafar Row House Masjid at Vatva, Peer Hazrat Samsuddin dargah, 400-year old mosque at Menhdikuva in Dudheshwar, Sabarmati Highway mosque, Bibima Kabrastan dargah, Idgah Kankaria, Mariambibi historic mosque, etc.

Places and shops owned by Muslims since decades where the Sangh Parivar boys have 'proudly' placed their stone gods, are located at Thakkarbapa Nagar, Bapunagar, Rahematnagar, Naroda, Odhav, Nikol and Khokhra areas, according to local daily Gujarat Today. Police complaints made by the original owners of these properties have not brought any result so far. Affected victims have tried to remove such intrusions through collector, police commissioner or even ministers at Gandhinagar but without any success.

During a spree of announcements made by the chief minister recently, he said that destroyed shrines would be handed over to NGOs to rebuild. But not a single such NGO has come forward yet to undertake this job as the government has not allocated a single paisa for the purpose.

A Jaihind Bakery existing since last 30 years at Thakkarbapa Nagar has a temple put up overnight! Nurjehan Abdul Pathan owned this Bakery but it was looted and then burnt down on February 28 Gujarat Bandh day itself. One can see a temple over there at present. Pathan said it was in the presence of police that this property was looted and burnt down by a mob. His 26 year old son Wahidkhan and 16-year-old daughter Sairabanu are missing till today.

In the same way at Naroda Krishnanagar area Shaukatbhai Ganibhai Mansuri ran his cotton works since a decade which also has been tuned into a temple now after looting and burning it down. A 'Mini-Auto Centre' at Thakkarnagar char raasta area is also replaced by a fake temple! Police has not removed it so far despite several complaints. A non-vegetarian shop at Naroda Patiya area has also been turned into a temple. Akbar Yakub's shop at Nikol char raasta area has also become a 'temple' at present.

Worst picture one gets is on several sites of Ahmedabad's historic monuments which have been desecrated or looted and burnt down by the frenzied Sangh Parivar led mob. Some of the famous heritage monuments under the protection of Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and the state archeology department still await survey of the huge damages. Of them, Malik Isan mosque at Isanpur was supposed to be protected by the state archeology department, while Hasan Shahid mosque also known as Paththarwali Masjid was under the ASI. In the same way, Muhafiz Khan mosque is located in the hot riot area of Gheekanta in the walled city lying now desecrated.

"No work of survey had been started as yet" admitted D.R.Gehlot, "due to the prevailing volatile situation." Initial damage at Malik Isan mosque was considered to be worth Rs 12 lakhs, according to Y.S.Rawat of the state archeology department. He said it could take five years to repair it if funds were available and peace prevailed- nothing of which permeates the situation at present. There are scores of other sites which lie in ruins all over the state. 

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