Ground Report | New Delhi: In Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya, the Sunni Waqf Board has declared the demolition of the ‘Gareeb Nawaz mosque’ illegal. Saying that the action of the authorities is also a violation of the orders and directives of the state high court. The Sunni Waqf Board has decided to approach the High Court against it. A statement from the Sunni Waqf Board said, “It has been decided to approach the court for restoration of the mosque. A high-level judicial inquiry into the matter and action against the violators.” ‘
The incident took place in Ram Snehi Ghat Tehsil of Bara Banki District, about 56 km from the famous Babri Masjid, which was demolished during the Mughal period. Its name was ‘Nawaz Gareeb Masjid’, which was established in Bani Kadah village within the tehsil for almost a century. Two days ago, local authorities bulldozed it and dumped its wreckage in a nearby river.
A statement issued by Zafar Farooqi, Chairman, UP Waqf Board strongly condemned illegal and irresponsible action of the district administration. The mosque, which has been located in the tehsil premises for the last 100 years, was demolished by the authorities on charges of illegal occupation. The statement added, “This action is completely illegal, an abuse of power and a clear violation of the orders issued by the High Court last month.”
The Muslim Personal Law Board and several other Muslim organizations have also strongly condemned the demolition at the behest of the government. According to Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, general secretary of the Muslim Personal Law Board, there was no dispute with either side over the mosque. He said, “This mosque is listed in the documents of the Sunni Waqf Board. Local officials, however, had sought its documents from the mosque committee in March, and the mosque’s management committee had approached the high court. What a surprise that the government demolished the mosque without any notice. ”
It may be recalled that the Allahabad High Court in a landmark judgment on April 24 had said that the decisions of any civil or other court regarding evacuation, relocation or displacement of people should be pronounced by any civil or other court. If it has not been implemented, it will be banned from being implemented till May 31.
Local administration response
But government officials have defended their action, saying it was in accordance with a court order. The district administration, in a statement, used the word “controversial residential building” instead of a mosque, saying there was an illegal building in front of the SDM’s residence in the Ram Snehi Ghat Tehsil residential complex.
District Magistrate Adarsh Singh said, “A notice was issued to the persons concerned on March 15 and they were also asked to give their views on the matter.” But instead of responding to the notice, the occupants fled. Authorities seized the building on March 18.