Delhi

Delhi: Madrasa of 250-yr-old mosque bulldozed, officials claim encroachment

The mosque, otherwise known as Bachhon Wali Masjid, hosted over 120 Muslim children mostly from unprivileged backgrounds.

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A madrasa of a 250-year-old mosque was bulldozed for alleged encroachment in Bengali Market, New Delhi on Tuesday morning. During the process, a portion of the mosque was also demolished.

The Land and Development Office (L&DO) under the Ministry of Urban Development amid heavy police presence bulldozed the structure. Its chief Suvasish Das stated that the demotion was carried out after a judicial order was passed.

“I have nothing more to comment on the matter. The mosque is around 250 years old. The portion which was demolished was constructed recently. Two rooms were also constructed during the renovation,” Das said.

The general secretary of the Islamic seminary Madrasa Tehfizul Quran, Matlub Karim Hafiz, said that the action was carried out at 6:30 am without issuing any prior notice to the mosque authorities.

“I was at home when I received a call in the morning about the deployment of a huge force and civic body officials approaching the mosque site to demolish a portion of it,” Hafiz said.

“They bulldozed the walls of the main hall and rooms of the Madrasa within 10 minutes. This land belongs to the Waqf Board. We have also checked with the board and no prior notice was served to them before demolition. These are not illegal structures,” he added.

The anti-encroachment drive being carried out in front of Masjid Bengali Market,
in New Delhi on Tuesday (Photo: PTI)

The mosque, otherwise known as Bachhon Wali Masjid, hosted over 120 Muslim children mostly from unprivileged backgrounds. “The children were provided food, and this was their home and school as well. Now where will they go?” asked Hafiz.

Idris Khan, a treasure at the mosque claimed, “The court hearing regarding the matter is pending. Even the beds were destroyed during the drive.”

An L&DO officer claimed that no hostel was bulldozed. “The demolished area was used as a verandah,” the official added.

The anti-encroachment drive being carried out in front of Masjid Bengali Market,
in New Delhi on Tuesday (Photo: PTI)

“Forty years ago, the L&DO department had provided the land on lease for a coal depot. But the original allottee built an ice cream parlour thus violating the agreement. The parlour was sealed. After that, the mosque was gradually expanded to a few rooms that encroached on the land. This extension has been going around for eight years,” the officer said.

Last Friday, the New Delhi Municipal Council carried out an encroachment drive on Mazars (sacred shrines) to make way for a footpath located opposite Sunehri Bagh mosque near Udyog Bhawan. The drive was conducted amid heavy security deployment.

This post was last modified on April 12, 2023 7:03 pm

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