Community News

Historic Mosque demolished in Saharanpur

Saharanpur: Ancient Askari Mosque was demolished in Saharanpur by the Guru Singh Sabha for expanding the existing Gurudwara adjacent to it. This has created anger and tension among local Muslims. When the sale deed for Aaskari building was transacted it was made obligatory on the part of the buyer to retain the existing mosque and maintain status quo. The mosque is included in the records of Sunni Central Board Survey of 1982 (No. 1102). The sale deed was executed by Askari with Mansadevi wife of Pandit Prem Prakash in 1940 and had stipulated as a condition to maintain the status quo of the mosque. Since then the Masjid had remained undisturbed. Photographs as well as living witnesses assert the fact. After Mansadevi’s death, her heir sold the land to Guru Singh Sabha in 2001 in which two separate sale deeds for 171 yards and 2614 yards were executed. When the mosque was demolished for expansion of Gurudwara, local Muslims objected strongly against it. Home Secretary Kunwar Fateh Bahadur was apprised of the situation through a personal meeting. He instructed D.M. Alok Kumar to look into the matter. The file ultimately reached ADM and SSP. Meanwhile, Gurudwara expansion work continued without interruption. Kairana BSP MP Tabassum Chandhari’s brother and her representative Wasim Ahmad led a delegation to meet SSP VK Dohre and apprised him of Home Secretary’s instructions. Thereafter the SSP held a meeting with city magistrate, SP city and SHO Qutb Sher. Local leaders asked officials to order a stay in the matter which was enforced in mid-December. However, when inspite of the imposed stay the construction work continued an angry mob of Muslims, after the Friday prayer, protested on 17 Dec 2010 senior leaders of the area asked the Muslims to observe restraint.