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HindustanTimes Fri,22 Aug 2014

‘Need paramilitary help to demolish structure’

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, October 12, 2012
First Published: 00:33 IST(12/10/2012) | Last Updated: 00:34 IST(12/10/2012)

After the police refused to provide security, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) on Thursday urged the Delhi High Court to provide paramilitary force protection to its demolition team to raze an illegal structure on the Jama Masjid Metro station site.

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The Archeological Survey of India (ASI), too, told the court that demolishing the structure would be necessary to start excavation work at the station site.

The ASI has been asked by the court to ascertain if the ruins, which surfaced during  digging, were indeed from the Mughal era and remains of the Akbarabadi Mosque as claimed by Matia Mahal MLA Shoaib Iqbal and his supporters.

"It is wrong to blame us for the non-implementation of the court's unequivocal demolition order dated July 30. The non-compliance is because the police are refusing to provide security. If they continue to filibuster, there are other paramilitary forces who may be asked to provide us cover," NDMC's lawyer told the court.

The police had earlier expressed their helplessness in providing protection to the demolition team, saying that they feared a communal flare-up. They urged the court to direct Matia Mahal MLA Shoiab Iqbal, who had allegedly raised the structure on the ruins, to demolish it himself.

Standing counsel for the police Pawan Sharma repeated the stand in the court, saying that the police did not wish to take any action till the ASI came up with its final findings.

Meanwhile, the ASI told a special bench headed by Justice SK Kaul that IIT Kanpur had started conducting Ground Penetrating Radar Survey (GPRS) of the area and has filed a preliminary report. The final report will be ready by October 20, it said.

The court slammed Iqbal for seeking a stay on the demolition order till the ASI came up with its final report and taking the ground that "the area was pre-dominantly occupied by the minority community.” “We are not looking into minority-majority angle. No one can take law into their hands. We are only enforcing the law,” Kaul said.


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