'100-year-old mosque demolished despite HC order in UP's Barabanki', says Waqf Board
LUCKNOW: A 100-year-old mosque was illegally demolished in a high-handed action by the administration despite the High Court order, says the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board.
It has said that the administration took an illegal action and demolition was carried out in the name of 'anti-enroachment drive'.
The Board has said that the action violated the High Court orders and it will approach the HC, seeking restoration of the mosque. The local mosque committee members said that it was ancient mosque dating back to British era and they had the papers.
In an official statement, the Waqf Board has condemned the 'patently illegal and high-handed action of the tehsil and district administration Ramsnehi Ghat, district Barabanki, particularly, that of the Sub-divisional magistrate (SDM)'. The Guardian quoted an official who said, " I do not know any mosque. I know there was an illegal structure".
Qazi Maulana Abdul Mustafa Siddiqui and other senior clerics have written to the chief minister in this regard. In a letter, they pointed towards the facts and said that the mosque was in place from pre-independence era and they have sought action against the officials in this regard.
Zufar Ahmad Faruqi, the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, has stated that the mosque situated near the tehsil compound at Ramsnehi Ghat in Barabanki district (UP), was demolished in the name of alleged removal of encroachment.
The district magistrate later in the day, said that illegal enroachments were raised. "Regarding the illegal residential quarters, notice had been issued to the occupants for hearing. They left and ran away. A team of officials took possession, subsequently", said the DM in a statement that was shared with media.
Locals insist that it was not illegal residential structure, rather, a mosque. "This action is against law, misuse of power and in utter violation of the clear orders, dated April 24, 2021 passed by the Honourable High Court", the Board further says. The UP Sunni Central Waqf Board will immediately approach the HC demanding restoration of the mosque, a high-level judicial inquiry and action against the guilty officers.