The news of the Palam Vihar Eidgah being bulldozed came as a rude shock to Suhel Khan and many. The beautiful park also a place of worship was left in a shambles on Monday morning.
Khan is the head of Chauma Masjid Intezamia Committee, which takes care of the Eidgah demolished by Huda on Monday morning. Khan rushed to the site soon after he heard of the demolition and requested the officers to stop razing the structure.
It is the first mosque of India to have a water harvesting system. It has a 0.8-kilometre walkway, which is open to all residents in its vicinity for two hours in the morning and evening. People had planted 80 neem trees around the ground last year.
The incident has left Khan in despair. “I haven’t seen my father so helpless as today. He could have chosen to live a comfortable life in the US, but he dedicated his life to the community and this is what he has to see today,” says Khan’s daughter Farheen.
Although the land belonged to the Haryana Wakf board, it had been lying barren until Khan took up its development about five years ago.
“It took a lot of effort to build this structure. Everyone is this area is welcome in this green zone and people appreciated it,” said Suhel Khan, who left his job as an engineer in the US and came back to India.
In India, he helped start the first daily soap ‘Chauraha’. The 40-episode show taught Hindi in 10 hours and was sponsored by the UNICEF.
A resident, Mithilesh Gupta said, “We live right next to the ground but were never troubled by the crowd here. It was very peaceful as there were no loudspeakers installed here.”
Another resident in the area, Mohammed Naved, said that R50,000 was collected from people coming to offer prayers. This amount was used for helping the Burmese refugees last year. What has shocked the residents most is that the demolition came unawares.
“It looks we have gone 10 years back in time ,” said a resident of Palam Vihar.