North corporation stops construction of mosque | delhi | Hindustan Times
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North corporation stops construction of mosque

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Thursday stopped the ongoing "unauthorised" construction work on a mosque being built on the archaeological remains of what is believed to be the 1650-built Akbarabadi mosque near Jama Masjid.

delhi Updated: Jul 20, 2012 01:31 IST
HT Correspondent

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Thursday stopped the ongoing "unauthorised" construction work on a mosque being built on the archaeological remains of what is believed to be the 1650-built Akbarabadi mosque near Jama Masjid.

The corporation has also put into place preventive orders not to allow anybody to carry out religious activity such as Friday prayers, at the site. "A decision on demolishing the structure will be taken later," said a senior corporation official.

After a large chunk of land was transferred back to the corporation by the Delhi Metro — the site had been identified for Metro’s underground Jama Masjid station — the civic body held a meeting with local MLA Shoiab Iqbal, who had been carrying out the construction. It was at the behest of Iqbal that the archaeological remains were discovered.

Yogender Chandolia, chairman, standing committee, north corporation, has demanded that the Lt Governor initiate necessary action under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, against persons responsible for the illegal construction.

"North corporation will spend crores of rupees to develop the area around Jama Masjid and Red Fort, but some selfish people are creating a hindrance for their own political gain," said Chandolia in a statement.

Later, additional commissioner of the north corporation informed the deputy commissioner of city zone and police (central zones) that the corporation had declined to grant permission to carry out religious rituals at the site.

The preventive step came in the wake of media reports that a large number of devotees were expected to gather at the site to offer namaz on Friday.

Meanwhile, Delhi Police

continued to hold backdoor talks with members of the Muslim community.

"If no solution is reached by tonight, there will be heavy deployment to prevent offering of namaz at the site on Friday," said a senior police official.

The Lt Governor also instructed north corporation’s deputy commissioner to ensure that law and order was maintained till a decision about the status of the site was taken.