Outrage Sparked After Historic Mosque Demolished in Bawana

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While the authorities claim illegal construction, locals question the legitimacy

Team Clarion 

NEW DELHI – The historic mosque, Jannatul Firdaus, located in Bawana, Delhi, was demolished by authorities using a bulldozer on Wednesday. Officials cited illegal construction and land encroachment as the reasons behind the demolition, stating that the mosque was built on reserved forest land.

The move has sparked outrage among the local community. Many residents and historians argue that the mosque, which has stood for centuries, is a crucial part of the community and holds cultural and historical significance. “This mosque has been here for generations. It’s part of our heritage,” said a local resident.

Caretakers of the mosque claimed that the demolition occurred without any prior notice or warning. “We received no notification. The authorities just came in and bulldozed everything,” said one of the mosque caretakers.

Adding fuel to the fire, a member of the radical Hindutva outfit, Preet Sirohi, posted a video on social media shortly after the demolition. In the video, he claimed that the action was a response to personal abuse he faced and vowed to continue targeting “illegal” mosques in Delhi.

This incident comes on the heels of another controversial demolition earlier this month. The Delhi High Court ordered the evacuation of a 40-year-old mosque and madrasa located in the Hazrat Nizamuddin area of Sarai Kale Khan. Civic authorities declared these structures “unauthorised” and issued a demolition notice, scheduling the demolition for June 13.

Further intensifying the situation, on January 30, 2024, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) bulldozed a 600-year-old mosque, also citing illegal encroachment. This demolition included a madrasa, home to many orphaned students, and a shrine of a Sufi saint located within the mosque complex.

The recent demolitions have raised concerns about the treatment of historical and religious sites in Delhi. Many community members and activists are calling for a review of the actions taken by the authorities and a reassessment of the criteria used to determine illegal encroachments.

As tensions continue to rise, the local community is left grappling with the loss of their historical landmarks and seeking answers from the authorities.

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