The Congress party on Wednesday demanded that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) take a clear stand over the demolition of two mosques in the premises of Telangana Secretariat.
Hyderabad City Congress Committee (HCCC) Minorities Department Chairman Sameer Waliullah, in a media statement, said that the AIMPLB’s present stand on the demolition of Secretariat mosques – Masjid Dafaatir-e-Muatamadi and Masjid-e-Hashmi by the Telangana Government has created confusion within the Muslim community. “Despite knowing the fact that demolition of Secretariat mosques was illegal, unethical, immoral and unconstitutional, the AIMPLB appears to be in some confusion over taking a firm stand against the TRS Government headed by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao. A few members of the AIMPLB are holding official posts in the TRS Govt and therefore, they are trying to dilute the issue to protect the so-called “secular” image of CM KCR. The AIMPLB should either stand with the community or with CM KCR,” he demanded.
Sameer Waliullah said that the TRS Government has demolished two mosques and one temple along with other structures in the Secretariat premises. The sentiments of both Muslim and Hindu communities were hurt just to satisfy the superstitious beliefs of an individual. This is intolerable. Places of worship cannot be treated as mere structures and they cannot be demolished or shifted to other places to accommodate new buildings. They are protected under various laws and no one, including the Chief Minister has a right to demolish any place of worship. Therefore, the AIMPLB must realise and openly endorse that the demolition of mosques and temple in the Secretariat is an act which should be condemned in the strongest words, he said.
The Congress leader asked as to why the AIMPLB did not take up the case on suo motto basis. “The AIMPLB has been fighting for the rights and interest of Indian Muslims since its formation on April 7, 1972. It always took a tough stand whenever the interest of Muslim community was attacked. But today it appears that the Board has been held hostage by a few individuals with vested interests. The Board did not even lodge a police complaint against the demolition of mosques nor approached the court,” he alleged.
Sameer Waliullah said that the AIMPLB’s meeting, which was held in Hyderabad on August 16, to discuss the issue of demolition of Secretariat mosques was completely hijacked by some individuals associated with the ruling party. He said that the meeting was held in the premises of Darul-uloom Hyderabad, an institution whose head (Mohammed Raheemuddin Ansari) is also the Chairman of Urdu Academy. Further, he said many participants in the meeting are holding official posts in the TRS Government. Although the AIMPLB issued a statement demanding reconstruction of both the mosques in Secretariat at the same place, a few members tried to dilute its stand. He said giving two weeks’ time to the State Government to take a favourable decision was highly objectionable. The mosques were demolished on July 8 and they have been completely razed to the ground. The Board held its meeting almost one-and-a-half months after demolition and still it gave two more weeks to CM KCR to decide on the issue, he said.
“A few members of AIMPLB should start behaving as the representatives of the Muslim community and not as ambassadors of CM KCR. They should focus on protecting the interest of the community and not the brand image of KCR Govt. All members of AIMPLB should refrain from acting as tools into the hands of any political party, including TRS, MIM or Congress. They should remain independent and loyal to the community and not to any particular party or parties,” he said.
Sameer Waliullah demanded the national leadership of AIMPLB must review the functioning of the Board in Telangana and take corrective measures. He demanded that the AIMPLB take a clear stand on the issue and restrain some of its members from creating confusion with the community over the issue.