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Attempt to occupy Masjid land in Darya Ganj, Delhi

New Delhi: Paltan Wali Masjid in New Delhi’s, Darya Ganj area has once again come in the limelight when an attempt was made to gradually occupy it by placing idols on its land. VHP is in the forefront in this mischievous attempt. In fact, construction of a temple has already started adjacent to the Masjid land and by placing idols on Masjid land an attempt is being made to gradually extend the area of the temple. S

hoaib Iqbal, MLA from Matia Mahal assembly constituency, who was earlier the speaker of Delhi assembly, has taken up this issue with Delhi’s Lt. Governor Tejinder Khanna and Delhi’s Police Commissioner B.R. Gupta. Both assured him that action against construction of temple will be taken within 15 days. He also directed Police Commissioner to submit a report to him within 15 days. This mosque, known as Paltan Wali Masjid, situated at Ansari Road in Darya Ganj is centuries old. It was destroyed at the time of partition. At present there is no mosque but only a plot of land measuring about one thousand sq yards and is a property of Delhi Waqf Board.

According to Delhi Gazette, as on 16 April 1970, it was a mosque situated at the then Dayanand Road. On 1 June 1984 VHP got a stay order from Court on 123 properties of Delhi Waqf Board including this mosque. As per the condition of the stay order, any new occupation of these properties, any fresh construction or changes in their structure will tantamount to contempt of Court, but in spite of these restrictions VHP and others are trying to occupy Masjid land by placing idols there and extending the area of the temple.

Shoaib Iqbal met both LG Tejinder Khanna and Police Commissioner B.R. Gupta and cautioned them to get the idols removed and stop construction of the temple within 15 days which they promised. Shoaib Iqbal also told them that if this is not done, he and his supporters will continue the agitation with greater force and also at the national level. He blamed Delhi government as well as Delhi Waqf Board for not being serious in getting the idols removed from Masjid land and for not stopping the conspiracy of building of the temple. In this connection he quoted Supreme Court’s ruling of 3 March 2006 in which this Court had stated that if such places are illegally occupied by any person or group of persons, Delhi police and Municipal Corporation will be held responsible for this. This makes it clear, Shoaib Iqbal said, that all these agencies i.e. Police and Corporation will be considered indirectly involved in placement of idols and illegal occupation of Masjid land and our protest will be against these agencies also. While addressing a meeting at Jama Masjid Chowk on 24 December, Shoaib Iqbal blamed VHP as well as Delhi Waqf Board for illegal occupation of Masjid land and said that since this matter is pending in the court, any construction (of mandir) is illegal and by doing so, VHP is guilty of contempt of Court.

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

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