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Business News/ News / India/  Delhi: DDA demolishes centuries-old mosque in Mehrauli, HC orders status-quo on land until Feb 12
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Delhi: DDA demolishes centuries-old mosque in Mehrauli, HC orders status-quo on land until Feb 12

The Delhi Development Authority demolished the Akhoondji mosque and a madrasa as part of a demolition drive to remove illegal structures in a reserved forest area.

A Central Reserve Police Force officer moves a barrier to seal off an entrance point to the site of a mosque demolished by local authorities over claims that it was an illegal construction in the Mehrauli area of New Delhi on February 1. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (AFP)Premium
A Central Reserve Police Force officer moves a barrier to seal off an entrance point to the site of a mosque demolished by local authorities over claims that it was an illegal construction in the Mehrauli area of New Delhi on February 1. (Photo by Sajjad HUSSAIN / AFP) (AFP)

Days after the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) demolished a centuries-old mosque, Masjid Akhoondji, in the Mehrauli area in the national capital, the Delhi High Court on Monday directed the DDA to maintain the status quo on the land.

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The matter was heard by Justice Sachin Datta after an urgent application was filed by the managing committee of the Delhi Waqf Board, reported legal news website LiveLaw. The status quo on the land where the 700-year-old mosque was demolished will be maintained till February 12.

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“They have demolished a 700-year-old Masjid in Mehrauli (Delhi). Before the demolition, we filed a petition where we reminded them about the High Court order that demarcation should be done, and afterward, our petitioner (Intezamia Masajid Committee ) will do the fencing," the petitioner's counsel, advocate Sham Khwaja told PTI.

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According to the Indian Express, the DDA bulldozed the Akhoondji mosque and the madrasa on January 30. The action was taken as part of a demolition drive to remove illegal structures in Sanjay Van, a reserved forest area in Delhi.

Also Read: ‘Hindus won’t look at other mosques if Gyanvapi, Kashi, Mathura…', Ram Mandir official

“Removal of the illegal structures, religious in nature, was approved by the Religious Committee, conveyed vide Minutes of Meeting dated 27/01/2024," the English Daily quoted the DDA as saying.

Mosque of Akhondji, which was demolished by the DDA also finds its mention in an official account of an Archaeological Survey of India officer. The mosque was listed in the 1922 publication by an ASI officer, reported IE.

The 700-year-old mosque was also home to 22 students enrolled in an Islamic boarding school, the caretakers of the mosque told news agency AFP.

Before the demolition drive, the DDA did not send any intimation or legal notice to the mosque's managing committee warning them about the action, Mohammad Zaffar, a member of the mosque's managing committee, told AFP. He also said that the demolition was carried out "in the dark of the night".

All the graves in the mosque compound were also desecrated, and no one was allowed to take out their belongings and even Quran from inside the mosque before it was razed, Zaffar told AFP.

"Many of our revered figures and my ancestors were buried there. There is no trace of the graves now. The rubble from the mosque and the graves has been removed and dumped somewhere else." Zaffar told AFP.

Since the DDA action, a heavy police presence has barricaded roads outside the grounds and also refused entry of people to the site.

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Published: 05 Feb 2024, 04:02 PM IST
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