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Shia Waqf Board writes to PM Modi, seeks demolition of Humayun’s tomb for graveyard

Board’s chairman Waeem Rizvi says the tombs of Mughal rulers cannot be a national heritage and should be demolished in public interest

lucknow Updated: Oct 25, 2017 13:29 IST
Haidar Naqvi
Haidar Naqvi
Hindustan Times, Kanpur
Humayun Tomb,Shia Waqf Board,Prime Minister Narendra Modi
The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board has proposed demolition of the tomb of Mughal emperor Humayun to make space for burial of Muslims.(File Photo)

The Uttar Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board has proposed demolition of the tomb of Mughal emperor Humayun to make space for burial of Muslims.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Board’s chairman Waseem Rizvi has suggested that demolition of the tomb would solve the acute problem that the Muslims face in the burial of their dead in the national capital as there is no space in existing graveyards and new land is not available.

The Board said there was no hindrance as per Islam in bringing down the structure.

Rizvi said the Mughals came from other countries and plundered India’s wealth and established their rule.

“The Mughals harmed the Indian culture and historians have estimated that they misused their power to demolish 3,000 temples. The Mughals were neither the propagators of Islam nor were they righteous rulers. Their graves or tombs cannot be a national heritage,” he said.

Rizvi wrote the letter after All-India Rabta-e-Masajid and Madaris-e- Islamia asked the Board to provide land for graveyard in a UP area close to Delhi.

Read More | Babri dispute: Shia Waqf Board says mosque can come up at a distance

“We tried to find out a right piece of land but it emerged that the Board did not have big land close to Delhi. The problem is serious in nature and demolition of the tomb would make 35 acres land available for Muslims,” the letter said.

According to Rizvi, the tomb has no religious structure in its vicinity and has a grave of the emperor. “It can easily be perceived as a graveyard. It tomb should be demolished in the national capital in public interest,” he said.

“The Muslim community to which Humayun belonged do not recognize any tomb as a part of its ideology and theology,” he said citing several instances from Saudi Arabia where a number of historical tombs, including the one of Fatima Zahra, daughter of Prophet Mohammad, were demolished in 1925.

“Such Muslims do not have an issue with the demolition of tombs,” he added.

Read More: UP Shia board to gift silver arrows for Lord Ram’s statue in Ayodhya

He said the Government of India did not earn from the tomb but spent a huge amount on its maintenance. “Public money shouldn’t be spent on preserving graves of unjust rulers,” he said urging the PM to grant permission to his proposal.

Shia Waqf Board has also stoked controversies in the recent past. It filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court claiming the Babri Masjid was its property, suggesting the new mosque could be built in Ayodhya at a reasonable distance from the birth place of Lord Ram. It also asserted that the mosque was built demolishing a temple

The Board also announced to gift 10 silver arrows when the state government comes up with the 100-metre statue of Lord Ram in Ayodhya.

First Published: Oct 25, 2017 13:29 IST