Special Reports

Another mosque demolished in Delhi

Police refuses to register FIR; Muslim leadership busy with election; Waqf Board assures stringent measure

By Saleem Siddiqui

The audacity of communalists in country’s capital have risen to the highest levels of which a fresh example was witnessed on 8 April when an ancient Eidgah [a mosque where Eid prayers are held] was demolished in Thana Fatehpur Beri in south Delhi in broad daylight early in the morning and until late evening, police had failed to register an FIR while the DCP of South Delhi, Bhola Shankar Jaiswal, even denied that any such incident had really taken place.

According to sources, this Eidgah, spread over an area of around 800 yards is located next to Farm No 16, Oso Drive, near Mehrauli. Its four walls and other structures were built with stones. The owners of the farmhouse have been eyeing on the Eidgah land for quite some time. Only two days ago, local Muslims had reported the matter to the local police after which the SHO got the Eidgah photographed. Despite all this, the owner of farm number 15, Babulal Agarwal commissioned bulldozers in the morning and got the mosque demolished.

When local Muslims came know of the demolition activity, they phoned the plice dialing number 100 but by the time police arrived at the scene Babulal had finished his task.

Mosque imam of a nearby locality, Sultanpur, Maulana Abdul Jabbar and chairman of of Gadaipur Muslim Samaj Samiti Imran Khan informed Rashtriya Sahara that Agarwal and his family about the incident. They said they have photographs and video recording of the Eidgah. Imran Khan said that he had feared the incident for quite some time and had written to the Delhi Waqf Board, Delhi Police Commissioner, Delhi Municipal Corporation and DC expressing his fears but no action was taken. He said that instead of registering an FIR, the police have questioned their concerns by asking, “Who are you to interfere in this matter?” and asked them to leave the place at once. In protest against police inaction against Babulal and his family and for not registering an FIR, a large number of Muslims, led by Maulana Abdul Jabbar and Imran Khan, started a sit-in at the Eidgah. They have also seized the bulldozer used to demolish the Eidgah walls.

Imran Khan further said, “All of this has happened due to the sheer carelessness of Delhi Waqf Board. Several months ago we had written to the Waqf Board requesting it to appoint a committee to look after the adjoining graveyard and the Eidgah but to date no attention has been paid to our request.

He added that, “adjacent to the Eidgah, there is a graveyard spread over an area of seven bigahs and one biswah land and that too has been occupied by Babulal Agarwal. Because of this Muslims are forced to use a smaller graveyard located at some distance to bury their dead. On top of this illegal construction, work is openly continuing on this graveyard land and so far two stories have already been completed.”

He said that after the complaint, employees of the Waqf Board came to visit the place but went away without taking any action. Local Muslims allege that the Waqf Board officers have some understanding with Babulal.

When South Delhi DCO Bhola Shankar Jaiswal was contacted for further details about the incident, he put the phone down saying, “Nothing of the sort has happened here.”

This scribe repeatedly tried to contact Section Officer of Delhi Waqf Board Khurshid Faruqi but his mobile was found switched off. When Survey Officer Allah Noor was contacted, he said he was not aware of the demolition. Board member Mufti Aijaz Qasmi too expressed ignorance about the incident but, he said, if this has happened FIR will be filed and strong action will be taken under the new Waqf Act.

Untill now no FIR has been registered while more than two dozen people are continuing their sit-in at the place. They include Maulana Abdul Jabbar, Imran Khan, Muhammad Akram, Muhammad Shahid, Rashid, Shahid Ali, Inamul Haq, Banne Khan, Muhammad Salman, Rashid Ansari, Akbar, Muhammad Ghani, Manto, Talha, Haris Muhammad and Muhammad Yusuf and others. (Rashtriya Sahara, Delhi 9 April 2014, English translation by urdumediamonitor.com)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 April 2014 on page no. 13

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