Community News

Mosque demolished in Gujurat by mistake

Ahmedabad: Estate section of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (Western Zone) demolished Fatima Masjid and an adjacent temple without serving even a formal notice in Sabarmati extension area. This has created great resentment among local shopkeepers. They alongwith Muslim councillors had a meting with Municipal Commissioner who was also surprised to learn about the unsanctioned demolition. He assured the delegates and promised to find out who was responsible for such unauthorised act. Badruddin Sheikh, leader of opposition, city chief Pankaj Shah, legislators Farouque Sheikh, Sabir Kabliwala, Ghiyasuddin Sheikh, and other Congress councillors etc joined the delegation which submitted a memorandum to the Commissioner. Describing the incident as unfortunate and without a justifiable cause; it was pointed out that the mosque had been in Corporation records since 1975 and the mosque has been paying property tax.

Demanding stern action against the responsible person the delegation demanded reconstruction on corporation’s cost. The commissioner is said to have admitted that the mosque was not mentioned in the road widening project. He assured that a deputy commissioner would visit the site and report. However, according to the version reported by two “the AMC had issued notices to the garage owners and shopkeepers adjoining the mosque and asked them to vacate the premises as these were to be demolished for widening the road for extending Bus Rapid Transport services” “When we asked the AMC staffers engaged in demolishing the garages if they intended to pull down the mosque also, they said there was no instruction to demolish the mosque,” said Nasiruddin Ahmad Bhai Sheikh who also lost his garage. After finishing demolition of garages, 45 in number, belonging to Hindus as well as to Muslims, “the AMC workers directed the bulldozer towards the mosque.” The AMC staff deliberately kept the people in dark about their intentions.

“They did not give time even for removing the materials kept inside the mosque and the living room of the Imam. We could barely remove the copies of the Holy Qur’an but other things got buried under the debris,” said another garage owner Gaffar. The records of the land in the name of Haji Majidbhai were shown to municipal commissioner IP Gautam. Gautam reportedly told them that he was told that there were only shops and garages and he did not know that there was a mosque. Sheikh and Gaffar said that Gautam did not give any concrete assurance.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2011 on page no. 21

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