Convenes meeting of all stakeholders, urges them to respect Delhi High Court order
Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna on Monday convened a meeting of all stakeholders concerned with the site in Subhas Park, claimed to be the ruins of the Akbarabadi mosque, and urged them to adhere to the orders of the Delhi High Court in the matter and to do everything possible to maintain harmony, respect and brotherhood during the holy month of Ramzan.
The high-level meeting was attended among others by Delhi Minister Haroon Yusuf, officiating Chief Secretary R. Chandramohan, Commissio-ner of Delhi Police Neeraj Kumar, Mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mira Agarwal, Director General of Archaeological Survey of India Gautam Sengupta, Chairman of Delhi Commission for Minorities S. H. Khan, Shahi Imam of Fatehpur Masjid, Chairman of Delhi Wakf Board Mateen Ahmad, Matia Mahal MLA Shoaib Iqbal and vice-president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad Ujahar Singh. A few other officials, religious and police officials also attended the meet.
It was pointed out that a site in Subhas Park has been claimed to be an old mosque by a section of Muslims and that they have begun offering namaz. The site belonging to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was earlier being excavated by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation in connection with their new underground corridor project from Central Secretariat to ISBT Kashmere Gate.
The meeting was told that a full Bench of the Delhi High Court presided over by Acting Chief Justice A. K. Sikri had taken cognizance of the matter and noted that the possession of the disputed site should be immediately handed over to ASI which should carry out further investigations to ascertain the nature of the old structure stated to be in existence there.
The High Court had also noted that the North DMC should ensure that no congregation is allowed to assemble at the disputed site; the police should provide all support for ensuring non-assembly of any congregation; and a meeting should be called at the highest level with the stakeholders to consider the matter urgently so that no public unrest and security concerns are allowed to develop.
In view of this, Mr. Khanna urged all those present at the meeting to “exercise restraint” and to respect the court orders.
The Commissioner of Police said due to the irresponsible acts of certain elements, public property had been damaged and some police officials on duty had suffered injuries. Mr. Kumar said such provocative actions need to be checked “so that the situation does not escalate in a negative direction”.
The Lieutenant-Governor said once ASI would submit its report to the authorities concerned and the Delhi High Court, “an appropriate view” would be taken of the matter.
While offering to do their best to foster harmony among the people, the community leaders present at the meeting also offered to carry out peace marches if required. It was also agreed that provocative statements would not be given by any side for the sake of peace.