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Madrasa demolished in Lucknow

Lucknow: Right in the heart of the historical city of Lucknow, adjacent to the famous La Martiniere College, a madarsa was demolished by the over zealous engineers of Lucknow Development Authority (LDA). According to the Mutawalli of the Darus Salam Madrasa, Rehmat Ali, the authorities did not give him any notice and no time was given even to take out religious scriptures. The Madrasa had a strength of about 45 students.

Empowered with the authority to “beautify” the town and clear it of “encroachments”, the LDA staff with five JCB machines, trucks and a huge contingent in tow swooped over the slum colony, near Pipraghat and demolished 200 jhuggis, mostly belonging to a “particular community” otherwise known as Muslims. Alongside stood a Madrasa which also invited the wrath of the LDA contingent which had just rendered 200-odd families homeless with all their belongings crushed under the gigantic, merciless JCB machines supplied by the LDA. According to a spokesperson of the LDA, alternative accommodation will be provided to the slum-dwellers after their verification is completed. They will be rehabilitated in under-construction houses at Bangla Bazar locality situated at a distance of about 20 kms from the site of demolition.

Surprisingly the LDA Vice Chairman, Mukesh Meshram, distanced himself from the whole operation, claiming that his role was limited to providing logistic support to the Irrigation department on whose land the encroachment was located. However, no official of the Irrigation Department was present during the whole drive which was solely carried out by LDA people using their own equipment and workers.

Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli,The Naib Imam of the Eidgah and Member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, took stock of the situation and met the Chief Minister and gave her a memorandum demanding among other things restoration of the Madrasa at the earliest, a high level enquiry into the whole incident, and suspension of the officers involved. This seems to be the beginning of a drive which the BSP government will undertake against the minorities of the state.The population can now feel the heat of the government as if the natural heat wave was not enough.

At the time of writing this report, news has come that the Vice Chairman of LDA, Mukesh Meshram has been transferred to Kanpur as DM as a reaction to the madrasa demolition. This action came after Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli met the CM.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 June 2010 on page no. 3

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