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Published in the 1-15 May 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

CM orders inquiry into demolished mosques

The Milli Gazette Online

Hyderabad: A delegation of Muslim organisations met CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy on April 17 and protested over the demolition of three mosques in Medak district to make way for the widening of the National Highway No 5 on April 16. The delegation which was led by the MIM President Salahuddin Owaisi including party MP and legislators and several other prominent Muslim leaders of different organisations wanted to know the reasons for resorting to the demolition of the mosques. They told the CM that such actions will not be tolerated and would lead to serious consequences. Asaduddin Owaisi who is a MP from Hederabad said that the delegation made it that clear no body can allow the demolition of mosques because they were the Waqf properties. He demanded reconstruction of all the three mosques from the Waqf Board funds.

He told the CM that the community leaders had played a key role in bringing the Congress in power in the state and now the people were asking whether Congress was ruling the state or the BJP was in power. They charged the Medak district official with communal bias and wanted the suspension of the joint collector responsible for the demolition of the mosques and the transfer of the district collector Anil Kuman Singhal.

After hearing the delegation, the CM said that he was ordering an inquiry into the incident and has asked for the report within seven days after which action would be taken.

The officials of the revenue department demolished three mosques and a Muslim shrine on the National Highway no 5 near Patancheru town, about 40 kms from Hyderabad on April 16. However after protests from the Muslim community the administration ordered the reconstruction of the mosques. The district superintendent of police DL Sujata Rao said that the revenue department had carried out the operation as part of the road widening programme as these structures were coming in the way. The structure of the mosque was damaged at Muttangi village, the minarets and the entire structure of the mosque was demolished at Rudraram village. The graves in a nearby shrine were also damaged. The tin shade of the third mosque was removed at Hasanapur village. Each mosque was located about 5 km from each other.

As the news of the demolition spread, hundreds of local Muslims gathered at the site and began protesting against the official action. They stopped the traffic on the busy Hyderabad-Mumbai highway. After 10-hour long protest, the administration ordered the reconstruction of the mosques.

The MlM legislature Akbarudiin Owaisi said that the action against the mosques shows the communal bias of the administration, specially the collector. The revenue department targetted only the mosques while ignoring the other structures besides them. 

The officials in Hyderabad said that 285 religious places of different communities have been identified in twin cities which were coming in the way of widening of roads. Moves were afoot to consult the leaders of the respective communities and to take them in confidence for the removal of these places. But the Muslim community leaders have made it clear that they will not accept the removal of their religious places.

Meanwhile, the Patancheru police in Medak distict has booked cases against the MIM leaders for obstructing the government official from carrying out their duties.

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