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‘Masjid’ allegedly burnt down in Gurugram after Islamist violence was a disputed structure, construction was put on hold by courts: Details

According to the Sushant Lok Extension Residents Welfare Association, the land was originally earmarked for the construction of a police station as per the demand of the local residents.

Amid the violence unleashed by Islamists in the Nuh district of Haryana, a ‘mosque’ was allegedly set ablaze on Monday (July 31) night in Sushant Lok Phase-III in Sector 57 of Gurugram.

Identified as the Anjuman Imam Masjid, it was reportedly attacked by a group of 70-80 people. During the incident, the imam of the ‘mosque’ was allegedly killed while another person was injured. They were later rushed to the hospital.

While speaking about the matter, police commissioner Kala Ramachandran informed, “The attackers have been identified by the police and following raids conducted throughout the night, several of the attackers have been rounded up. Security around places of worship has been tightened.”

It has now come to light that the said masjid is a disputed structure, the construction of which was stopped by the courts on several occasions. As per reports, the Anjuman Jama Masjid is built on ‘government-allocated land’ in the New Gurugram area.

According to the Chairman of the Haryana Anjuman Charitable Trust, Aslam Khan, the Om Prakash Chautala-led-Haryana government allocated the land for the ‘mosque’ in 2002.

He claimed, “In 2002, the Government allocated land for 17 temples, two gurdwaras, one church and one mosque. Though one mosque is not enough in view of the growing population of Muslims, the stay on construction has added to our woes.”

The construction of the ‘mosque’ began in 2004 but it came to a halt within 6 months. According to the Sushant Lok Extension Residents Welfare Association, the land was originally earmarked for the construction of a police station as per the demand of the local residents.

However, the land was later allotted to the Haryana Anjuman Charitable Trust in Gurgram and converted into a religious place by allowing a change of land use.

Several petitions, including Public Interest Litigations (PILs) were filed over the years to stop the construction of the ‘mosque’, including one by the Malibu Towne Residents Welfare Association and a resident of Malibu Towne named Mukesh Bhanont.

Punjab and Haryana High Court directed regulatory mechanism for mosque, SC ordered status quo maintenance

A Division Bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court however held that “since the mosque is in an area which is predominantly residential in character, it would be wise for the authorities to ensure that no nuisance is caused to the residents of the area by the devotees and that a proper regulatory mechanism is established to eliminate traffic and noise pollution etc.

In an order on June 6, 2012, the Supreme Court ordered the maintenance of the status quo. Given the matter was sub-judice in 2013, a 2-Judge Bench of Justice Satish Kumar Mittal and Justice Amol Rattan Singh refused to entertain petitions that objected to the change in land use.

The matter is yet to be decided by the apex Court. As such, the construction of the disputed structure had been stopped half-way. In pictures taken from the site, iron rods could be seen protruding from unplastered pillars. A board at the entrance reads, “Anjuman Jama Masjid”, although the matter is still stuck in court.

Demands for additional 5 mosques turned down by BJP government in 2016

Vice-President of the Haryana Anjuman Charitable Trust, Mohammad Abul told The Hindu, ” In 2013, the construction for the ground and the first floor began after we won the case in the High Court. But the opposite party moved the Supreme Court and the construction was stayed yet again.”

“This time we did not even find time to remove the shuttering for the ongoing construction. The construction was immediately stopped and the trust ended up paying lakhs for the shuttering,” he said.

The disputed structure serves as the place of congregation for the Muslim community during Juma Namaz, with more than 1500 people use the site for prayer. Demands for the allocation of areas for an additional 5 mosques in Gurugram were turned down by the BJP-led-Haryana government in 2016.

Violence in Nuh

On Monday (July 31), tensions gripped several parts of Haryana when stones were pelted at the Jalabhishek Shobha yatra in the Muslim-majority region of Mewat. The procession was taken out to mark the auspicious occasion of Shravan Somwar.

In several videos of the clashes, a mob charging in a hostile way at the yatris ccould be heard raising “Allahu Akbar” and indulging in riotous activities.  Two home guards were killed and about a dozen policemen injured as a mob in Haryana’s Nuh district tried to stop a Vishva Hindu Parishad procession, pelting stones and setting cars on fire, police said.

To stop the spread of misinformation and rumours, internet services were suspended in the region. Following the violence at Nuh, VHP president, Alok Kumar issued a video statement urging the police and administration to quickly rescue the devotees stuck at several locations including Nuh temples, chowk, and near the police station. He stressed that the yatra is an annual affair and this year it was targeted in a pre-planned and organised attack

Meanwhile, the Union government deployed 20 companies (about 2000 personnel) of Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) to bring the law and order situation under control. It is worth noting that Haryana’s Mewat has been under the spotlight for the last few years for the increase in terror activities, cow smuggling, and forced conversions.

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OpIndia Staff
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