Controversial mosque site area peaceful


New Delhi : The area close to the purported excavated mosque site near the historic Jama Masjid, where thousands of Muslims offered Friday prayers and a mob attacked police a day later, remained peaceful Monday, police said.

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Ten policemen were Saturday injured in stone pelting by a mob after being denied access to the site where a fresh mosque structure was coming up. The area remained tense Sunday when two people were arrested for stone-pelting.

There was heavy security in the area Monday. More than 500 personnel from the anti-riot Rapid Action Force, the Central Reserve Police Force and the Delhi Police were posted at the site to quell any violence.

Some of the shops in the area, which remained closed Sunday, due to the fear of violence, were open.

“There was no gathering of locals to offer namaz respecting the high court’s order. The situation is under control and locals are helping police to pacify the issue as soon as possible,” Additional Commissioner of Police Devesh Chandra Shrivastva told IANS.

“The corporation had handed over the land on April 11 to Delhi Metro for its phase III project,” said a North Delhi Municipal Corporation official Monday.

People in Subhash Nagar area had started the construction of a mosque at the site after a building’s remains were discovered early this month at the site excavated for Delhi Metro work.

Some people from the area claimed that the remains of building found at the excavated site were those of the 17th century Mughal-era Akbarabadi mosque and started building a fresh structure but the Delhi High Court put a stop to it Friday.

Following the court order, the municipal corporation and police cordoned off the area Saturday and handed over the site to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Late in the night, a mob pelted stones and injured 10 policemen posted at the site. An inspector, a head constable and eight constables were injured.

Navin, 21, a local resident of the area, and Irfak of east Delhi’s Seelampur area, were arrested Sunday for the attack, a police official said.