Muslim Ulemas and social leaders have claimed that despite orders not to go ahead, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has demolished several historical mosques and graveyards in Mehrauli. These properties are a part of civic agencies' heritage list and are listed as Waqf properties.
"The DDA went ahead with the demolition of Ghausia Masjid, which is listed as a heritage property. No alteration can be made to such structures, so how can the DDA go ahead and demolish it. An FIR should be lodged against Kamal Nath, the urban development minister, as a minister in-charge of DDA," Maulana Syed Kalbe Jawad Naqvi, president of All India Ulema-e-Hind, said.
Kalbe Jawad, who came from Lucknow, said, "Mosques are being demolished and graveyards are being bulldozed in the name of development. If mosques are demolished, Waqf properties are bulldozed, Indian Muslims will not sit quitely and tolerate injustice."
Bahador Abbas Naqvi from Anjuman-E-Haideri, Jorbagh, who has been spearheading the fight, said, "DDA is using a wrong portion of 1975 order about acquired Waqf properties that was quashed. We are saying, there is a 1990 Supreme Court judgment, which said that despite the 1975 order, if there are mosques or graveyards on a property, it has to be reverted."
When pointed out by reporters that DDA has claimed that no place of worship was demolished, Bahador Abbas said: "If the DDA claims that no Masjid was demolished, then why is it getting another re-constructed at the same site? Moreover, despite our requests, the new one is being constructed with bricks as against the 700-year-old heritage structures built of stones."
Rushi Mehnaaz, wife of Shakir Ali, who was arrested on February 8 for stopping DDA officials from demolishing the mosque and now lodged in Tihar jail, claimed, "Since that day, police regularly threaten us, torture us and even do not allow us to raise shanties for protection."
Kalbe Jawad also said: "There are as many as 271 Waqf properties that have been encroached upon by government agencies in an unauthorised manner and of these, 172 are taken by DDA."