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16th century Sher Shah Suri-period masjid was demolished in Prayagraj to widen the road, here is what happened

Saidabad Shahi Masjid was built on Public Works Department land and causing hindrances in widening the road. It is believed that the mosque was built by Afghan invader Sher Shah Suri.

On January 9, the Prayagraj administration demolished a 16th-century Sher Shah Suri-period masjid to widen the road. Following the demolition keeping the safety and convenience of the travellers in mind, there were rumours that it was demolished for hoisting Pakistani flags. However, the rumours were debunked by the police.

Saidabad Shahi Masjid was built on Public Works Department land and causing hindrances in widening the road. It is believed that the mosque was built by Afghan invader Sher Shah Suri. Soon after the demolition, its videos went viral on social media.

The demolition work took place to widen the Grant Trunk Road (GT Road) in Handia Tehsil of district Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. The mosque was located in Saidabad Bazar.

At the time of the demolition, heavy police force and government officials of PWD were present. The notice had already been served to the mosque administration. Notably, the district court had permitted the demolition. The mosque administration had moved to the High Court to save the mosque.

Speaking on the matter, Sub Divisional Magistrate Ramesh Chandra Maurya said, “The mosque was constructed on PWD land. The civil and high courts did not provide any relief to the mosque administration. We held three rounds of talks with the mosque administration. The people of the committee themselves took part in the demolition.”

The Imam of the mosque Mohammad Babut Hussain said when they went to the High Court, the court said it was a civil matter. When they moved to the civil court, the court rejected the plea and refused to stay the demolition.

Rumours around the demolition

Some netizens claimed that the demolition was done as the mosque hoisted Pakistani flags. However, the rumours were later debunked. Furthermore, Safoora Zargar, one of the accused of the Delhi anti-Hindu riots of 2020, allegedly attempted to fuel up the situation by publishing a misleading tweet.

In a tweet, she said, “Mosques in India are dispensable. 16th century Shahi Masjid demolished in UP for widening of the GT road just two days before the lower court was set to hear the matter.” Notably, the court had already permitted the demolition.

In reply to a Twitter user who raised the red flag on Zargar’s tweet, Prayagraj Police said, “PWD department is widening the Prayagraj-Handia GT Road. The Shahi Masjid was in the middle of the road and causing hindrances in the project. PWD officials and the mosque administration held a meeting and decided to demolish the mosque. After that, the mosque was demolished on January 9, 2023.”

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OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
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