100-year old mosque bulldozed in India
May 19, 2021 09:44 PM
Officials in India’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh have bulldozed a 100-year old mosque, reported 24News HD TV channel.
The incident triggered anger among the Muslim community. Sunni Board has said that it will approach the high court over the matter.
The Ghareeb Nawaz Mosque, in the state’s Barabanki district, was more than 100 year. According to the locals of the area, the mosque was demolished by the local administration after hundreds of policemen surrounded the area and halted the movement of people to prevent any protest.
The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, a Muslim body that looks after mosques and other community assets in the state, condemned the demolition and said it was done in defiance of a court order to halt demolitions of alleged “illegal structures” until May 31 in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a statement, the board termed the act an “illegal and high-handed action of the administration” and said it will seek judicial remedy.
“This act is against the law, misuse of power and utter violation of clear orders passed by the high court. We will immediately approach the high court demanding restoration of the mosque, high-level judicial inquiry and action against the guilty officers,” the board’s chairman said.
In a statement, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rehmani, general secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said the demolition was undertaken “without any legal justification”.
Since 2017, Uttar Pradesh is governed by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with a controversial saffron-robed monk Yogi Adityanath, known for his anti-Muslim hate speech, as the state’s chief minister.
Hindu-majority India has a long history of disputes over religious structures, mainly the ones built during Mughal rule from the 16th century to the early 19th century. Most of these structures are in Uttar Pradesh state.
Barely 100km (62 miles) from Barabanki lies the town of Ayodhya, where a 16th-century Babari mosque was demolished in 1992 by right-wing Hindus who claimed the structure stood at the exact place where Lord Ram was born.
The demolition of Babri Mosque catapulted the BJP to political prominence, despite some of its leaders charged with hatching a conspiracy to take down the mosque.
In November 2019, India’s Supreme Court handed over the disputed site in Ayodhya to Hindu claimants, allowing the construction of a Ram temple under the government’s supervision.