Political News Telangana

Secretariat Mosques: Congress seeks clarity on date for re-construction

Media allowed to Secretariat demolition site

Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) Minorities Department Chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail on Saturday demanded that TRS Government make an official announcement on when the foundation stones of re-construction of two mosques and a temple in the Secretariat premises, which were illegally demolished in July last year, would be laid.
            Abdullah Sohail, in a media statement, said that neither Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao nor his ministers made any official announcement of a date for laying the foundation stone for reconstruction of demolished places of worship. There was no mention of reconstruction of two mosques and a temple in the Press Release sent by the Chief Minister’s Office on February 26 after CM KCR visited the Secretariat to review ongoing construction activity. The next day, three ministers – Mahmood Ali, Koppula Eshwar and Talasani Srinivas Yadav, Wakf Board chairman Mohd Saleem and other TRS leaders held a meeting with a few religious leaders to discuss the issue. “None of the ministers announced that the foundation stone will be laid on February 26. This date was announced by a few religious leaders who attended the meeting. Interestingly, the Home Minister, while speaking to media persons after inauguration of Nampally Police Station building, announced that mosques will be inaugurated before the new Secretariat. He also did not specify the date either for laying the foundation for reconstruction of demolished mosques,” he said.
            The Congress leader alleged that CM KCR again tricked the Muslim leaders on the issue only to suppress the agitation. “The Chief Minister has been dragging the issue since July 10th last year and he has dishonored several deadlines for laying foundation for reconstruction on one pretext or the other. Several organisations and individuals have launched an agitation seeking permission for resumption of prayers at the same place where two mosques stood in the Secretariat till they were illegally demolished on the intervening night of 7-8th July, 2020. Just to dilute the agitation and anger against TRS, CM KCR apparently directed his ministers to hold a meeting with the Muslim religious leaders and set a new deadline. Strategically, neither CM KCR nor his ministers came on record to say that the foundation stone will be laid on February 26. However, some leaders who attended the meeting are making those announcements,” he said. 
            Abdullah Sohail said that the new deadline of February 26 was only aimed at buying some more time. “The notification for elections for two MLC Graduates constituencies, Nagarjuna Sagar by-polls and elections for Khammam and Warangal municipal corporations is likely to be announced in the next few days. It might take at least 3-4 months for the completion of these elections and therefore, the TRS Govt will have an excuse of Model Code of Conduct to delay the laying of foundation for reconstruction of places of worship in the Secretariat. This time duration will be sufficient for the government to complete most of the works for the new Secretariat building. Once the cellar and ground floor works are done, it will be impossible to change the design and re-construct the two mosques and one temple at the same places where they existed before demolition,” he said.
            Further, the Congress leader said that the design of proposed mosques in the Secretariat, which is being circulated in social media, was not the official design approved by the State Government. He said it was hard to believe that CM KCR assigned the task of preparing the design of the mosque to MIM MLAs while the government assigned the rest of the construction works to the firm Shapurji Pallonji.
            Abdullah Sohail said that the TRS Govt must come up with an official statement on the date for laying the foundation for reconstruction of all three places of worship. Further, it must ensure that the two mosques and one temple are re-constructed at the same place where they existed till demolition. It should also explain as to what happened to the Holy Quran, prayer mats, other holy books and other material of both the mosques when they were demolished, he demanded.
            He advised the Muslim religious leaders not to get misled with the latest deadline of February 26 as it was not an official announcement. Further, he said CM KCR has a history of making false promises. Therefore, he said instead of getting misled, the Muslim leaders should build pressure on TRS Govt to honour his promise.

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