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Business News/ News / India/  Mehrauli 600-year old mosque demolished, locals say ‘rebuild another’; Delhi HC orders DDA to maintain status quo
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Mehrauli 600-year old mosque demolished, locals say ‘rebuild another’; Delhi HC orders DDA to maintain status quo

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) demolished a 600-year old Akhoondji Masjid in Mehrauli, which has been called an 'illegal construction'. The Delhi High Court has ordered the DDA to maintain status quo with respect to the land where the Akhoondji Masjid was located.

Delhi Mehrauli mosque demolition: People speak with a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer (R) controlling access 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 (AFP)Premium
Delhi Mehrauli mosque demolition: People speak with a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officer (R) controlling access 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 (AFP)

Delhi Development Authority (DDA) razed a 600-year old Akhoondji Masjid in Mehrauli, following which the Delhi High Court has asked authorities to maintain status quo. 

When was Akhoondji Masjid built? 

The DDA has called the Akhoondji Masjid an “illegal construction", however, claims have been made the the Sanjay Van mosque is at least 600 years old. A document by an Archeological Survey of India (ASI) official from 1922 claims that the structure was repaired in 1853-54 AD. The ASI document also recorded the location of the mosque saying it lay west to an Idgah.

What did DDA demolish? 

The Akhoondji mosque as well as the Behrul Uloom madrasa was demolished by the DDA on January 30 for being an "illegal structure" in Sanjay Van.

What did Delhi High Court say?

The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to maintain status quo with respect to the land in Mehrauli where a mosque, stated to be over six centuries old, was demolished last month.

The DDA has defended its action before the high court on the ground that the demolition took place pursuant to the recommendations of the Religious Committee dated January 4.

The court, while listing the matter for further hearing on February 12, stated that the DDA shall maintain status quo over the site where the Akhoondji mosque was located.

Regarding the recommendation from the Religious Committee, Siddiqui said the (DDA) should have gone to the court for a decision on the matter.

What do Mehrauli residents say?

The residents claimed a cemetery was also demolished during the drive. Locals have demanded that the agency rebuild another mosque at the same site.

Fauzan Ahmed Siddiqui, a member of the management committee of Dargah Qutub Sahan in Mehrauli, said that nobody the area where the mosque, madrasa and cemetery were demolished has been barricaded and no one is allowed to go inside.

He demanded that people be allowed to enter the cemetery area.

"If someone dies today, where do we take him? There is already a lack of a cemeteries. The madrasa, graveyards and the mosque were demolished without giving any prior intimation," he said.

"It is being told that a notice was received from the revenue department on January 2. The religious committee meeting was held on January 4 and later no one received any notice. They came and gave a notice one hour before the demolition and told the people present there to remove their belongings," he added.

Israr Ali, general secretary of Akhoondji mosque, said the property is in the gazette of Waqf board.

Siddiqui added that the Akhoondji mosque was very old and renovated around 100 years ago.

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Published: 06 Feb 2024, 08:53 AM IST
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