UP Govt razes down 100-year old mosque ignoring HC's no demolition ordertext_fields
In a blatant contempt of court, the local administration in the Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh demolished a 100-year-old mosque on Tuesday defying the state High Court's order. The Allahabad High Court had issued a directive on 24 April, that the mosque should be protected from any eviction or demolition until 31 May, the Guardian reported.
The mosque, called Masjid Gareeb Nawaz Al Maroof, in the district of Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh, had stood for at least six decades, since the time of British rule, according to documents held by its committee. The tehsil is located on a highway on the Barabanki-Ayodhya border.
A local imam, Maulana Abdul Mustafa, who is on the mosque committee, said the mosque was "hundreds of years old" and that "thousands of people have been coming here five times a day to offer namaz [prayer]".
'The century-old Garib Nawaz mosque in Ram Sanehi Ghat tehsil was demolished by the administration without any legal justification on Monday night in the presence of police,' claimed All-India Muslim Law Board (AIMPLB) working general secretary Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rehmani in a statement.
Meanwhile, the authorities said they demolished an illegal structure on court orders.
Adarsh Singh, a district magistrate who denied the presence of the mosque said that he was aware of an illegal structure. "Uttar Pradesh high court declared it as illegal. That's why the regional senior district magistrate took action. I will not say anything else," he said.
A district official said the 'illegal structure' was first flagged during a verification drive in March. "Three people living there escaped when asked to show their identity proof," he added.
Following the razing of the mosque, the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has said that it will soon approach the Allahabad High Court demanding restoration of the mosque, a high-level judicial inquiry and action against the officers concerned.