By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi: Expressing serious concern over the fate of five mosques and religious places which fall under the proposed Central Vista Project, Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind-led by President Maulana Mahmood Madani on Wednesday urged the government to ensure protection of mosques from the Project. The organization also categorically made it clear that no alternative will be acceptable to the community in lieu of these mosques. It also asserted that it is part of heritage and any damage to these places will bring bad name to the country.
There is no clarity about the project how many buildings and souvenirs will be demolished.
Jamiat Chief wrote a letter to Hardipur Singh Puri, Minister, Housing & Urban Affairs who is in charge of the project that sought the status of Religious places, more specifically the Mosques falling within the ambit of the lands covered.
While demanding overall protection of the mosques, he made it categorically clear that no alternatives will be accepted in lieu of these mosques.
He pointed out that that there were various Mosques on the land parcels covered under Notification dated 20.03.2020 which includes:
- Zebra Ganja Masjid (Massing Road)
- Rakabganj Mosque (Near Gurudwara Rakabganj Sahib)
- Krishi Bhawan Masjid (Krishi Bhawan)
- Sunheri Bagh Road Masjid (Near Udyog Bhawan)
- A Public Masjid subsequently made part of the Vice President’s House (presently within the lawn of the Vice President’s Residence)
Rumors are flying thick and fast about the fate of these five mosques and the community organizations are representing public concerns about them. With that view, a delegation of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind also visited these mosques on Sunday and gathered the required information.
Jamiat President categorically said that these mosques are parts of our world heritage, if they get damaged; it would impact international reputation and will profoundly hurt sentiment of a particular community.
“Therefore we demand that the government comes with a concrete plan to preserve these mosques and they shall not be disturbed at any cost. We also seek government indulgence for a clarificatory Government Order in this regard,” he said.
The letter also underlined that the Mosques stated from serial 1 to 4 above are live mosques and prayers are being held regularly.
However, the Mosque which has gone within the campus of the Hon’ble Vice-President’s House also must be preserved for the purpose of its uses.
“We have confirmed information that as late as 2016-2017, the said Mosque was a live Mosque. While planning the area surrounding this Mosque, appropriate provision for an easement must have been made in the developmental plans. Since the residence of the Vice-President and the compound attached therewith comes under the administrative and regulatory supervision of his Ministry, we request the Hon’ble Minister (Housing and Urban Affairs) to facilitate us an inspection of the said Masjid on a designated time and date,” the letter added.