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Muslims for permission for Namaz in Vellore Fort Mosque

Tamil Nadu: The mosque inside the famous Vellore Fort in Tamil Nadu has never witnessed a Namaz since British rule. Though the mosque is under the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), the permission to offer prayers in the mosque is a long pending demand of Muslims of the locality. The mosque, along with the Jalagandeswar temple were closed for the public to offer prayers. Later, both the monuments were brought under the protection of the Archeological Survey of India. In 1981, the temple was opened for prayer due to strong public demand. Now, Muslims in the locality are demanding that they may be allowed to offer Namaz at the mosque.

Though a large number of Muslims want the mosque to be open for prayer, some are against it. Some Muslim leaders even submitted a letter to the Collector demanding not to open the mosque for worship as it would cause some unnecessary issues. So the demand was given no attention. Because of this, thousands of ‘Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetta Kazhagam’ members had held a protest and tried to forcibly take over the mosque in 2008. But timely intervention of the Police made things calm. People ask that since the temple was opened for worship, then why not mosque? The police tightened the security as rumors spread that Muslims will try to take over the mosque forcibly. Now visitors to the fort are being checked thoroughly by the police, deployed in and around the fort.  

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2010 on page no. 20

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