Hyderabad: AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, religious scholars and leaders of various Muslim organizations have condemned the demolition of two mosques in the premises of the old secretariat in Hyderabad and demanded their immediate reconstruction.
Hyderabad MP and other leaders of the United Muslim Forum (UMF), an umbrella organization of different Muslim groups, said the ‘tragic’ and ‘unconstitutional’ demolition of the two mosques caused pain and agony to the Muslims.
Owaisi, whose All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) is a friendly party of ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS), and other leaders warned that if the government failed to take steps for reconstruction of the demolished mosques at the same place without any delay, Muslims would be forced to launch a strong protest.
They said Muslims were angry with the government over its action because according to the Islamic belief a mosque remains the property of Almighty Allah and its status can never be altered.
They stated in a joint statement that the demolition of two mosques shocked the confidence of the Muslim community in Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, who has been projecting himself as a secular.
Demanding that the demolished mosques be rebuilt at the same place, they said Muslims could never accept their reconstruction at another place.
The joint statement was issued by Asaduddin Owaisi, his brother and AIMIM floor leader in Telangana Assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi, Moulana Akbar Nizamuddin and Moulana Mufti Khaleel Ahmed of Jamia Nizamia, president of MUF Moulana Rahmeeuddin Ansari, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Telangana unit chief Moulana Hamid Mohammed Khan, Jamiatul Ulema Telangana and Andhra Pradesh unit president Moulana Hafiz Peer Shabbir Ahmed, eminent religious scholars Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, Moulana Jaffer Pasha, and others.
The leaders pointed out that both the mosques (Masjid-e-Hashmi and Secretariat mosque) had their record in Waqf Board and official gazette notification.
Meanwhile, in a delayed move Waqf Board sent a letter to the secretary, minorities welfare, urging him to save both the mosques. Waqf Board Chief Executive Officer Abdul Hameed, along with the letter, also sent gazette notifications of the mosques. He wrote that demolition could anger Muslims leading to law and order problems.
As per the Waqf Board record, the Secretariat Mosque was spread over 677 square yards. Namaz used to be regularly offered there till recently. Even after shifting of the secretariat to nearby BRK Bhavan last year, prayers continued at the mosque and it was only after COVID-19 breakout and resultant lockdown that people had stopped offering prayers there.
In 2008, during the regime of Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy in undivided Andhra Pradesh, the minorities welfare department had released Rs 35 lakh for renovation of the mosque, and the work was completed in 2010.
Meanwhile, Congress leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir who was a minister in Rajasekhara Reddy’s cabinet said the TRS government hurt the sentiments of the Muslims and the Hindus by demolishing two mosques and a temple at the old secretariat complex. He recalled that in a letter to the chief minister on June 27, 2019, he had appealed to him to save the places of worship.
Shabbir said some ministers had assured that the places of worship would be protected. The Congress leader said the TRS government betrayed the people by demolishing the mosques and the temple.