Mumbai: Plan to Demolish 80-Yr-Old Islamia Masjid Sparks Outrage

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Waqf Board maintains that any modifications or redevelopment under Section 91 must be communicated to it three months in advance

Team Clarion

MUMBAI – The Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mahada) has announced plans to demolish the 80-year-old Islamia Masjid in the Dadar area of the country’s financial capital, a move that has sparked significant outrage among the local Muslim community.

The decision has been made without consulting the Waqf Board or adhering to Waqf regulations and at the behest of a private builder.

Upon learning of the impending demolition, the Maharashtra Waqf Board swiftly issued a notice to Mahada, reminding it that it does not have  any authority to issue any notices concerning the said property.

“The builder is trying to clear the way for development by falsely listing the mosque as dilapidated. However, the audit report of the building clearly shows that it is not dilapidated but, in fact, structurally sound,” Afsar Syed Pathan, a representative of the Waqf Board, said.

The Waqf Board has made it clear that while some trustees and the builder may claim the building as weak, the structure is in good condition. The ongoing conflict between the builder and trustees has prompted the Waqf Board to consider legal action against those involved. “The Waqf Board will take legal steps in this matter,” Pathan added.

Yasir Syed, a trustee of the mosque, emphasised the historical and familial significance of the property. “This property was dedicated by my ancestors. Family members have always served as trustees, but some individuals have colluded with the builder to redevelop it for their personal gain,” he explained. Syed stressed that the property was dedicated to the community, and thus, no trustee has the right to hand it over to private developers.

Waqf officer Fayaz Pathan confirmed Yasir Syed’s complaints and said Mahada’s notice lacked jurisdiction. “We issued a notice to Mahada on May 15 clarifying that they have no authority to declare the building dangerous. Our inspection on January 25, 2024, confirmed the building’s structural integrity,” Pathan said.

Any modifications or redevelopment under Section 91 must be communicated to the Waqf Board three months in advance and require our NoC. Unauthorised agreements or changes will result in strict action against the trustees,” he said.

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