Hyderabad: Congress seeks access to Secretariat mosques

Hyderabad: Led by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Minorities Department chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail, a delegation of Congress leaders met Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali demanding restoration of access to places of worship in the Secretariat premises for regular prayers.

Abdullah Sohail, in his representation, informed the Home Minister that the security personnel were not allowing anyone to enter the Secretariat to reach the two mosques located in its premises to offer prayers.

The entry has been restricted since September 30. “Both mosques are more than seven decades old and prayers are being offered in those mosques for five times a day since their construction. Similarly, people are not being allowed to pray at the temples located in Secretariat premises,” he pointed out. “It is unfair on the part of the authorities to impose ban on entry of people at places of worship as it amounts to violation of their Right to Religion.

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The mosques and temples are not offices which can be closed down with a lock. They are of high sentimental and emotional values. We will not allow demolition of places of worship even if the government gets all clearances to construct a new building for Secretariat,” Abdullah Sohail said. The Congress leader pointed out that the mosques and temples were in existence since several decades and they could not be demolished or shifted.

Although the High Court has stayed the demolition of Secretariat till next hearing on October 14, there is nothing that prohibits people from visiting the places of worship to offer prayers, he said. Abdullah Sohail urged the Home Minister to permit common people to offer prayers at mosques and temples in the Secretariat premises.

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