MP: Muslims Object to ASI Excavation During Survey of Kamal Maula Mosque

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The ASI team has been surveying the mosque for over two months in compliance with the Madhya Pradesh High Court order.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – The Muslim community has raised serious objections to the excavation being conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) during the survey of Kamal Maula Mosque in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district.

The ASI team has been surveying the mosque for over two months after the Madhya Pradesh High Court ordered it and the Supreme Court refused a stay on it. The apex court also conditioned that the survey should be conducted without any physical excavation.  

The leaders of the mosque committee members have described the excavation as a “violation of the Supreme Court order. On Friday, the worshippers performed the noon congregational prayers at the mosque by binding bands on their arms as a mark of silent protest against the excavation. The Muslims claim that the excavation puts at risk the mosque’s structure.

 A delegation of the community met the district magistrate and submitted a memorandum addressed to President Draupadi Murmu.

“In the memorandum, we have demanded that the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court for the survey should be strictly enforced. We registered our silent protest by binding bands on our arms. We request the ASI team to stop the excavation immediately and follow the Supreme Court’s guidelines,” Zulfiqar Pathan, president of the mosque committee, told reporters.  

Pathan also said that they have held a silent protest for now. If the excavation is not halted immediately, they plan to hold a bigger protest.

Waqar Sadiq, the Qazi of the city, said excavation is being done in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.

“In the north side of the mosque, the ground was dug 10-17 feet deeper. This excavation can cause harm to the structure of the mosque,” he said.

Members of the mosque committee had raised objections to the excavation saying that the action deprived their right to offer namaz. “It’s not just violations of our fundamental rights but also human rights. Is there no one who can enforce the Supreme Court guidelines?” Sadiq asked.

In March, the high court had directed a survey of the 11-century building within six weeks after the Hindu side claimed that the complex is Bojhshala temple dedicated to Vagdevi. 

The direction came on a plea by a group called the Hindu Front for Justice, which has claimed that the mosque was constructed after “destroying” Hindu temples centuries ago.

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