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The Indian mosque was bulldozed despite the order of the Supreme Court

Local officials in Uttar Pradesh destroy the mosque that has stood since British rule. Images of rubble taken after the demolition of the mosque in Ram Sanehi Ghat, Uttar Pradesh, India. Photo: Delivered A local government in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has defied a Supreme Court order and bulldozed a mosque. This is one of the most inflammatory measures taken by a crowd of people against a Muslim place of worship since the Babri Mosque was demolished by Hindu nationalist rioters in 1992. The mosque named Masjid Gareeb Nawaz Al Maroof in the Barabanki district in Uttar Pradesh had according to data of the committee has lasted at least six decades since the time of British rule. Police and security services entered and cleared the area on Monday, then brought in bulldozers and demolished the mosque buildings. According to pictures and local reports, debris was then thrown into a river. Security services were deployed to prevent anyone from getting within a mile of the mosque’s site. The state government of Uttar Pradesh is controlled by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which also governs at the national level. The prime minister is a tenacious Hindu nationalist named Yogi Adityanath, who is known for his vitriol against Muslims. He has given speeches marked by Islamophobia, labeled Muslims as terrorists, and passed laws that openly discriminate against Muslims. A local imam, Maulana Abdul Mustafa, who is a member of the mosque committee, said the mosque was “hundreds of years old” and “thousands of people came here five times a day to offer namaz.” [prayer]”. “All Muslims were afraid, so no one went near the mosque or dared to protest when the mosque was demolished. Several dozen people are still leaving their homes and hiding in other areas for fear of the police. “Adarsh ​​Singh, Barabanki District Magistrate, denied the mosque’s presence. “I don’t know any mosque,” he said. “I know there was an illegal structure. The Uttar Pradesh Supreme Court ruled it illegal. For this reason, the regional chief district judge has taken action. I won’t say anything else. “The scene after the mosque was demolished. Photo: Delivered The demolition violated an April 24 order by the Supreme Court requiring buildings in the state to be protected from any evacuation or demolition until May 31″ post-pandemic recovery ” The mosque was challenged by the local authorities and a notice was sent to the mosque committee on March 15, questioning the existence of an “unofficial mosque,” ​​requesting evidence of permission to operate the land and a court ruling cited that illegal religious structures could be demolished if they created obstacles. The mosque committee said it had sent a detailed response, including documents showing that the building had electricity from 1959 and that there were no mosque structures facing the street hinder, but the local administration does not have the answer to official Un transferring documents. On March 18, the mosque committee went to the Allahabad Supreme Court citing concerns that the mosque was “about to be demolished.” The Supreme Court ruled that the local administration was only looking for documents and was more likely to threaten to demolish the mosque. In the days that followed, local Muslims said the administration had started building a permanent structure to block access to the mosque. On March 19, local Muslims were prevented from entering the mosque for Friday prayers, sparking tension and protests in the area. Over 35 local Muslims who protested were arrested and sent to prison, where many are still being held. Police reports were filed against the demonstrators. In a ruling dated April 24, taking into account the circumstances of the pandemic, the Allahabad Supreme Court ordered that “all orders for eviction, expropriation or demolition … remain pending until May 31, 21”. In a press release, the Barabanki District Administration described the demolished buildings as a “residential complex” and said a court order dated April 2 proved that the “housing in question is illegal”. They did not mention the mosque on the premises, although their presence had previously been officially recognized in the notice to the mosque on March 15 and again in the Supreme Court petition on March 18. Members of the mosque committee said they were also not made aware of a court ruling on the mosque on April 2. Despite the court order to postpone all demolitions until the end of May, the administration continued the demolition of the mosque structures on Monday afternoon. A statement by Zafur Ahmad Faruqi, chairman of Uttar Pradesh’s Sunni Central Waqf Board, said: “I strongly condemn the overtly illegal and high-level action they took to demolish a 100-year-old mosque,” Faruqi said Demolition was “against the law, an abuse of power and a complete violation of the clear orders issued by the Hon’ble High Court of April 24, 2020” and called for a high-level judicial investigation. The district where the mosque is located borders Ayodhya, where the Babri Mosque stood before its demolition in 1992. In a 2019 court ruling, the judges stated that the land was legally more Hindu than Muslim, and a new Ram Temple is under construction on the site of the Babri Mosque.

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