Hyderabad: Former Minister and ex-Leader of Opposition in Legislative council Mohammed Ali Shabbir has strongly condemned the demolition of places of worship in the Secretariat complex.
Ali, in a media statement on Thursday, said that the GHMC authorities have razed two mosques and a temple, along with other structures, that were located in the premises of old Secretariat during the demolition drive being carried out since Monday midnight. “This is a breach of trust and open cheating by the TRS Government. When we raised this issue in the past, an assurance was given by some ministers that the two mosques and a temple would remain untouched even if the present structures were demolished. However, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao reportedly directed the authorities to raze all structures, including two mosques and a temple, to ground,” he alleged.
He reminded that he wrote an open letter to the Chief Minister on June 27, 2019 requesting him to protect the two historic mosques and a temple located in the Secretariat premises. “We clearly told CM KCR several times that we are not against having a modern Secretariat, but we are opposing the timing of its construction. Further, we wanted the State Government to protect the two mosques and a temple in the Secretariat at any cost. However, the Chief Minister did not listen to our appeals and reportedly demolished the places of worship,” he said.
Shabbir ridiculed the statements being given by some TRS leaders claiming that the mosques were not demolished. He asked them to furnish evidence to substantiate their claims. “Why are the police and GHMC authorities not allowing the media near the Secretariat premises? Why are they trying to prevent the media from reporting the truth? Why Minister K. Tarakarama Rao, who also holds the portfolio of Municipal Administration, is NOT asking the GHMC Commissioner to release video footage showing the present status of mosques and temple in the present Secretariat premises?” he asked.
The Congress leader accused CM KCR of hurting the religious sentiments of all the communities by demolishing their places of worship. Further, he said that the TRS Government has also violated the provisions of The Places of Worship Act. “CM KCR has no respect for the law or Constitution and he openly violated the Central Laws on multiple occasions. Similarly, he carried out the demolition of Secretariat in haste only to avoid another stay by the Supreme Court,” he said.
He said people of Telangana would never forgive CM KCR and other TRS leaders for hurting their religious sentiments. He reminded that the GHMC authorities have demolished Ek Khana Masjid, a more than 200-year-old mosque in Amberpet which was also a registered Wakf property, in the name of road expansion. Several other places of worship have been demolished under the TRS regime during the last six years. “Except for KCR’s superstitious beliefs no other religion or places of worship are being given due importance under TRS rule,” he said.
The Congress leader alleged that CM KCR was trying to set a new precedent of demolishing religious structures in the name of expansion or renovation. “If TRS Govt is allowed to demolish the places of worship to facilitate the construction of a new Secretariat, then it would become a trend for all governments in the future to demolish any temple, mosque, church or other religious structures without any hindrance,” he said