Hyderabad: 2 mosques, temple demolished for new secretariat

Hyderabad: Two mosques and a temple have been demolished as part of the ongoing demolition activities for the construction of new complex of Telangana secretariat. The Masjid Dafaatir-e-Muatamadi is situated adjacent to the C Block while Masjid-e-Hashmi situated near the D Block. The Nalla Pochamma temple is located in the middle of the premises.

Seeing them as an obstruction in the construction of the new secretariat, the government demolished all the three structures. The demolition work began on the midnight of Monday and the three places of worship were demolished in the first phase of demolition.

Masjid-e-Hashmi is a very old mosque near D Block. United Andhra Pradesh government had also tried a lot to shift the mosque but after the opposition from Islamic scholars and general Muslims, construction of D block was carried out leaving the mosque. Masjid Dafaatir-e-Muatamadi was constructed during Congress rule with the cost of Rs 2 crore. Employees of secretariat and surrounding government offices used to pray in the grand mosque. Hundreds of devotees pray in the mosque on Fridays.

As per the plan prepared by the government for the construction of new secretariat, it was decided to demolish the two mosques and a temple and construct them on some other place. Notably the government did not consult with the religious personalities or Islamic scholars before demolition of the places of worship. The government demolished the mosques keeping Muslims in the dark.

According to sources, the copies of Quran and jaenamaz (prayer mats) were shifted to some other place before carrying out the demolition. It must be noted that regular prayers were offered at both the mosques before imposition of corona lockdown, but after the lockdown both were locked and no one was allowed to visit them.

Government should have consulted Muslim representatives and taken them into confidence before carrying out demolition of the places of worship. At the time of shifting of other offices of the secretariat when the issue of the mosque came to light, the then deputy chief minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali had assured that mosque will remain at their own places and the government will reconstruct mosques along with the new complex but no sign of construction of mosques is evident from the approved map of the new secretariat.

Shifting of mosques is a matter of shariah and the government should have consulted Islamic scholars and muftis before taking any decision. It remains to be seen what stand the parties and organisations supporting the government would take on the demolition of mosques by the government.

Meanwhile, the demolition work continued for the second day and police cordoned off all the routes leading to the Secretariat and imposed traffic restrictions on roads leading to the site.