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India: 2 prominent 400 year old mosques in New Delhi get ‘encroachment’ notices

24th Jul 2023
India: 2 prominent 400 year old mosques in New Delhi get ‘encroachment’ notices

By Anadolu staff

ANKARA, Turkey (AA) – Authorities in the Indian Railways have issued notices to two prominent mosques in the national capital New Delhi, asking them to remove “encroachments” within 15 days, local media reported on Sunday.

Local news broadcaster India Today said in a report that notices were issued to two prominent mosques over the weekend by the Indian Railways, stating that the land of Masjid Bachchu Shah and Masjid Takia Babbar Shah belongs to them.

The notice stated that “their land has been illegally encroached upon, and they are urging the concerned parties to voluntarily remove any unauthorized buildings, temples, mosques, or shrines constructed on their property.”

The railways have warned that if the “encroachments are not removed within the stipulated timeframe, they will take necessary action to reclaim their land.”

“The parties responsible for the encroachments will be held accountable for any damages incurred during the process, relieving the railway administration of any damages,” the broadcaster said.

Northern Railway spokesman Deepak Kumar confirmed the media reports.

The local managing committee of the two mosques said Masjid Bachchu Shah and Masjid Takia Babbar Shah were built centuries ago and are “historic.”

Officials from the Delhi Waqf Board, which is responsible for maintaining Islamic properties, also said the mosques were built a long time ago and that the matter is “sub-judice.”

“The two mosques were over 400 years old and existed before rail infra came up at the two locations. The mosques are also part of the 123 properties, including mosques, mausoleums and graveyards, over which the board is engaged in a court battle with the Centre. The matter is currently pending in the high court,” Delhi Waqf Board official Mehfooz Mohammad daily told The Hindustan Times.

Hafiz Matlub Karim, a member of the managing committee of Bachchu Shah mosque has written a letter to the Delhi government over the matter.

“The notice which was pasted was without any signature and stamp…this activity is harassment and an attempt to vitiate the atmosphere,” the daily quoted him as saying.

[Map of India from CIA Factbook/Public Domain]

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