The Delhi high court Monday ordered the demolition of a structure that has come up on what are believed to be the ruins of a Mughal-era mosque unearthed during the digging at the Jama Masjid Metro station site in old Delhi.
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) were told to remove the structure - a wall - that Matia Mahal MLA Shoaib Iqbal and supporters got built. Jama Masjid area is a part of the Matia Mahal constituency.
A three-judge bench, led by acting chief justice AK Sikri, asked the police to maintain a strict vigil to avoid law and order problem and "prevent rumour mongering to ensure that the operation is not given a communal overtone".
Hindu group Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha and some lawyers had moved the court for the removal of the structure "illegally built on a public land".
On July 20, the court put construction on hold. It also ordered NDMC to hand over the site to the ASI, responsible for preservation of ancient monuments, to ascertain if the ruins were indeed those of the Akbarabadi mosque.
In a July 19 notice, the ASI told the civic body to raze the "unauthorised construction" within 15 days as it was within the regulated belt of centrally protected monuments of Red Fort and Sunehri Masjid.