- UP Waqf board strongly condemns demolition, demand action against guilty officials
By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi/ Barabanki (UP): In an utter violation of the clear orders of the Allahabad High Court, the district Barabanki administration on Monday bulldozed a 100 year-old Ghareeb Nawaz Masjid situated near Tehsil compound at Ramsnehi Ghat in the district. The UP Sunni Central Waif Board and All India Muslim Personal Board condemned the administration’s action in the strongest possible terms saying it is one of the most inflammatory actions taken against a Muslim place of worship since the pulling down of the 400 year old-Bari Mosque by a mob of Hindustan radicals in 1992 in the heavy presence of paramilitary forces. They demanded stern action against guilty officials and restoration of the mosque immediately
mosque, in the town of Ram Sansei Ghats, had stood for at least six decades, since the time of British rule, according to documents held by its committee. The high court explicitly passed orders on April 24 that mosque cannot be demolished until May 31. The local administration in clear defiance and contempt of the court demolished the mosque. Incidentally, Burbank district where this mosque was located is adjacent to Ayodhya.
According to ‘The Guardian’, on Monday police and security services moved into the area and cleared it of people, then brought in bulldozers and demolished the mosque. Debris was then thrown into a river. Security services have been deployed to prevent anyone coming within a mile of where the mosque stood.
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]”.
“All Muslims were scared, so no one went near the mosque or dared to protest when the mosque was being demolished. Even today, several dozen people are leaving their homes and hiding in other areas out of the fear of the police.”
Adarsh Singh, a district magistrate, said: “I do not know any mosque. I know there was an illegal structure. The Uttar Pradesh high court declared it illegal. That’s why the regional senior district magistrate took action. I will not say anything else.”
The demolition was in violation of a high court order issued on April 24, which stated that the mosque building should be protected from any eviction or demolition until 31 May. (The order copy is attached)