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A 400 year old Masjid and colony demolished in Delhi by Delhi Development Authority

Resistance against the demolition of Ghousiya Masjid and colony in Delhi

By Mohamed Tanveer Iqbal

New Delhi: A 400-year-old Gousiya Masjid (Khasra No: 217, Mehrauli) was demolished by DDA in Delhi on December 12th. This is not the first incident where DDA (Delhi Development Authority) demolished a masjid, the civic body has several such records of demolition and attempts for demolition to its credit. But this time it has demolished starting from December 5, 2012 also a residential neighborhood, making hundreds of poor people shelter less in winter.

People who have been rendered homeless.

Delhi Wakf Board Chairman and loyal Congress MLA Mateen Ahmad Choudary said “the area was a Wakf Board land which had been acquired by the DDA about 25 years ago and the Board would recommend to the DDA to reconstruct the wall which had been demolished” whereas in reality the whole Masjid was demolished leaving a portion of backside wall.

DDA without providing any alternate shelter or notice demolished the colony and reported that a wall of Masjid was demolished by mistake. To resist the demolition Ghousiya Colony Rehabilitation Forum was formed on December 14, 2012 and to demand the Delhi Government for the rehabilitation of colony and rebuilding the Masjid. The forum has till date provided assistance for continuous provision of prayers at the demolished Masjid.

Juma prayer in destroyed Masjid, on Dec 14, 2012

Meanwhile the National President of Social Democratic Party of India E. Abubacker along with a delegation visited the demolished Masjid and victims on 17th December and promised them that SDPI will be struggling with them till they get justice and provide all aid possible.

Ghousiya Colony Rehabilitation Forum (GCRF) organized a sit in (dharna) protest at Jantar Manta, New Delhi on 18th December 2012(International Minority Rights Day) demanding the Delhi Chief Minster to rehabilitate the colony, to rebuild the Masjid, to take action on DDA official responsible for demolition and to stop the demolition and to immediately stop the demolition process which did not stop after 5th December.

The forum delegation presided by SDPI National Gen Sec Hafiz Manzoor Ali Khan met Wajahat Habibullah (Chairman – National Commission for Minorities and K Rahman Khan MP (Minister for Minority affairs on 19th December with the demands. And even met Delhi Wakf boar CEO Abid Hassan and demanded him to file a case on behalf of the Wakf against the demolition of Masjid at a wakf land.

Protest at Jama Masjid, Delhi.

Despite the many agitation of the forum there was no reply from the Government. And the DDA continued the demolition process and even continued demolition of pakka graves. Then the forum announced a blockade protest at Delhi Chief Ministers residence on 21st December with the slogan “Provide us shelter or we will shelter at Delhi Chief Minister’s Residence – rebuild our Masjid or we will pray at Delhi Chief Minister’s Residence.” The blockade protest was postponed as Delhi CM met the forum delegation and assured to help the colony inhabitants. Due to the intervention of CM the demolition work stopped for the time being. And Delhi Chief Minister has also organized a joint meeting of DDA and Forum members on December 24, 2012 at her residence. But no such meeting happen till date as it was postponed at the last time and reason given was the recent protest against the Delhi gang rape incident.

And it is same in the case of K. Rahman M P, Minister of Minority affairs who is also doing the same, today also the forum met the Minister who promised for a joint meeting soon as he did several times earlier.

In case of the Delhi Wakf is more pathetic as MLA Matheen Choudary who gives good statement in media regarding this issue but taking no productive steps.

This shows that the Government is not serious regarding this issue.

DDA destorying nation’s heritage.

The forum also met the Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid Ahmad Bukhari and demanded him to join the struggles for demanding the Government to rebuild the Ghousiya Masjid and rehabilitate the colony on 28th December, who promised to visit the victims at the earliest.

The forum has now decided to propagate this issue in all street and corner of Delhi through awareness campaign and reach out to the masses. As this issue is not a Muslim issue or an issue of mere Masjid or colony of Ghousiya but an issue against the constitutional rights of Indian citizens thus the forum has demanded the Muslim community & also secularists of nation should join this struggle for justice.

Demands of the Forum:

1. To rebuild the Masjid and restore the graves immediately through the Delhi Wakf board.

2. Rehabilitate the colony and

3. A judicial enquiry to punish the persons of DDA and Police department responsible for the demolition of Masjid and disrespect to the graves.

The writer is the coordinator of the Ghousiya Colony Rehabilitation Forum. G