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Hyderabad: ‘Open Charminar mosque for Namaz, Bhagya Lakshmi temple is an illegal structure’, says Congress leader Rashed Khan

The ASI had protected the structure of the Charminar and prevented Namaz at the site around 2 decades back. There is a mosque on the second floor of the structure and 149 stairs have to be climbed to reach it.

Amid the ongoing row over the restoration of 27 Hindu and Jain temples in the Qutub Minar complex, a new controversy has begun in the state of Telangana over the ASI protected heritage structure ‘Charminar’. Telangana Congress leader on May 31 began a signature campaign at the Mecca Masjid near Charminar and demanded the opening of the mosque in the heritage structure for offering Islamic prayers.

According to the reports, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) stopped Namaz at the site two decades ago. Demanding reopening of the structure for offering Namaz, Khan said that it was their (Muslim’s) constitutional right to freely profess, practise, and propagate their religion. He claimed that prayers were earlier held at the Charminar, an Archeological Survey of India protected site, however, Muslims were barred from offering prayers at the site two decades ago.

In the video message shared via Twitter, Khan also said that he would soon give representation to the Telangana Chief Minister for law and order clearance on this issue. “When we spoke to the Ministry of Culture, Kishan Reddy said there will be a law and order problem. I will take all the signatures and go to the secular CM of Telangana. If our requests are not addressed, we will do a sit-in protest at the Pragati Bhavan. Wrong promises are being made across the country on mosques,” he was quoted.

People participating in the signature campaign organised by Congress leader Rashed Khan (Source- Siasat.com)

Maulana Ali Quadri also supported Khan in his demands and said that earlier people used to hold prayers in the Charminar but it was disallowed after a person had committed suicide in the heritage structure. The Congress leader later targeted the Hindu temple located near the Charminar and stated that it was an unauthorized encroached illegal construction. He called for the shut down of the Bhagya Lakshmi temple if the government had no plans to allow Namaz in the mosque located in the Charminar.

“We believe in Ganga Jamuna tehzeeb. If prayers are happening in the temple, let it happen, but in the same way, our mosque is closed and it should be opened and we should be given permission for the Namaaz,” he said.

Meanwhile, the state BJP strongly condemned the remarks made by the Congress leader and sharply reacted to the signature campaign to reopen the mosque. BJP former MLC Ram Chander Rao stated that the Congress party had lost grounds in the state and that it was trying to create communal tensions in city of Hyderabad.

“They are trying to gain ground by raking up communal issues which are concerned with the state government and not at all concerned with the Central government. There is a mosque which is a heritage structure which is closed and there is a temple where people have been worshiping for several years,” Rao said.

It is not the first time that Congress has tried to trigger unrest and share its hatred for the Bhagya Lakshmi temple in Hyderabad. Earlier, Congress Sevadal had tried to whitewash Aurangzeb’s crimes and destruction of the Shiva temple at Gyanvapi by dragging the Bhagya Lakshmi temple.

Also, NV Subhash, spokesperson of the Telangana BJP alleged that Congress leader Rashed Khan was deliberately vitiating the peaceful atmosphere of the city by raising and demanding the reopening of the mosque for prayers just to garner some votes. “The Charminar is a historical monument and thousands visit it. The ASI closed down the mosque for prayers to safeguard the structure and avoid inconvenience to tourists during prayer times. It should be noted that prayers have not been offered in the Charminar for years. At declared monuments, prayers are not offered as it is against the law,” he added.

Reportedly, many people could be seen participating in the signature campaign organised by Rashed Khan. BJP leader Rao demanded immediate attention of the state government in the matter to maintain law and order. He reiterated that both the TRS and the Congress party were trying to provoke religious sentiments of minorities for their benefits.

Rashed Khan is known for his controversial and violent statements. In December last year, he had offered a bounty on the head of former Shia Waqf Board chief and ex Muslim Wasim Rizvi.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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