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Babri repeat: Rajasthan mosque demolished
By Zafarul-Islam Khan
|In a repeat action of the Babri Mosque
demolition a decade ago, extremists pulled down an ancient mosque of the
Mughal era on 29 July and built in its place a Hindu temple in record
time. Area administration failed to stop the demolition and sat on the
news fearing a communal flareup. It was only two days later that people
came to know of this development through The Hindu.
According to The Hindu, the incident occurred at Asind in the district of
Bhilwara when Masjid Swai Bhoj was demolished. The mosque was built by the
army of the Mughal emperor Akbar which stayed in the area on its way back
from a campaign in Chittorgarh in the 16th century AD. It was a 'Qalandari'
type mosque which is roof-less with a wall towards the Ka'ba and three
minarets. Like many other ancient mosques, this too was administered by
the Waqf Board of Rajasthan, an official body taking care of Muslim Waqf
properties in the state.
The Mosque was situated near a mazar called 'Badia dargah'. A Hindu
temple, Swai Bhoj Mandir, is also situated nearby. According to the
report, the passage to the mazar passes through this temple's property.
This year they stopped Muslims from using this passage, so they had to go
to the mazar through a river. But the problems did not stop there. When
Muslims pitched tents next to the mazar for functions, Hindus objected.
Finally on 29 July a mob of 300 persons burnt down the tents and erased
the mosque from the face of the earth and in no time erected a temple on
the site, complete with a marble platform - a replay of Babri nine years
ago. All this happened while a company of policemen sent to protect the
mazar simply watched.. It is clear that burning the tents and demolishing
the mosque by such a large number of people was not spontaneous. To rub
salt in the wounds, the temple has been named as 'Mandir Peer Pachaar
Hanumanji' (temple of Hanuman who defeated the (Muslim) saint).
News of the sacrilege reached Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan, when a Muslim
from the area came to lodge a complaint with the Waqf Board whose
secretary, Nasir Ali Naqvi, charged that the district authorities have
been negligent in dealing with the situation. 'The way the idol was kept
ready for installation and the speed with which the marble platform was
built indicates that the demolition had been planned in advance', he said.
Meanwhile the idol has been removed but the temple building stands on the
site of the mosque. According to latest reports, under a compromise
formula brokered by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, the Rajasthan Waqf Board
has been authorized to settle the issue within a week starting from 7