New Delhi: The Vice President of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Malik Mohtashim Khan has voiced concern over reports that the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) is considering demolishing the Sunehri Masjid due to traffic problems.
Opposing the proposed demolition, the JIH Vice President, in a statement to the media, said, “We are extremely concerned and disturbed at the arbitrary public notice served by the Chief Architect, NDMC, which says that NDMC is considering the “Removal of Sunehri Masjid (Grade-III Heritage building)” after receiving an official request from Delhi Traffic Police for providing better traffic management in the vicinity of the roundabout of Sunehri Bagh. The NDMC is poised to demolish the Sunehri Masjid under the Unified Building Bye Laws- 2016. We take strong objection to and oppose the demolition of such a magnificent Heritage Building. Protecting Sunehri Masjid is the responsibility of the NDMC, which is under the control of both the Central Government and the Government of Delhi. We endorse the letter to NDMC by a group of prominent architects of Delhi who pointed out that “The Sunehri Bagh masjid is not merely a structure of bricks and mortar; it stands as a testament to our historical legacy and architectural grandeur. Its demolition would result in an irrevocable loss to the cultural fabric”. We also concur with the opinion of these experts that “There are numerous examples globally where modern urban planning has successfully integrated with historical preservation, ensuring development and conservation go hand in hand.”
Mr Khan pointed out, “Rather than seeking public opinion on the traffic problems posed by the mosque, the NDMC should take expert opinion and check the feasibility of alternative solutions like constructing a roundabout around the mosque, an underground tunnel or an overhead flyover. Every day there are traffic snarls due to some or the other religious, cultural, educational, political, and business events in the capital. Does it mean that we put an end to all these activities? No country in the world erases its heritage to make way for the irresponsible growth in vehicular traffic. Jamaat-e-Islami Hind believes that the Sunehri Masjid is owned by the Delhi Waqf Board and NDMC’s claim over its land that is pending in the court, is erroneous. Jamaat would like to remind the Government of India that freedom fighter and Member of Parliament, Maulana Hasrat Mohani (who coined the slogan Inquilab Zindabad) stayed at Sunehri Masjid while attending Parliament sessions. Media reports suggest that after the NDMC public notice seeking feedback from the public, the majority of people have opposed the demolition of the mosque. Selectively erasing history is both vengeful and disappointing and must be avoided by our government if it believes in justice and fair play.”