New Delhi: The Delhi
Development Authority (DDA) will Friday submit its report to the
Delhi High Court on the mosque built illegally on its land in the
Jangpura area in 2005 and which was demolished Wednesday.
Facing a contempt threat from the high court, the DDA - after
several failed attempts - succeeded in razing the mosque. The
demolition had engraged the Muslim community. A crowd of over 200
men and women gathered at the site Thursday but were prevented
from offering prayers at the site, following which they turned
violent and torched a bus.
Advocate R.K. Saini said that the DDA will submit its report
Friday, as it was listed for Jan 14. The petition will be taken up
by Justic G.S Sistani.
Peeved over the encroachment affecting their colony's development,
the Jangpura Residents Welfare Association in 2006 approached the
court protesting the failure of municipal authorities to remove
illegal structures. The petitioners had argued that they could not
build a community centre and a park in their locality due to the
But, the court, on an assurance by the authorities, disposed of
the petition in 2008. "The matter was then referred to Delhi
government's religious committee which gave its approval for
demolishing the structure in October 2009, and the case was then
forwarded to Delhi Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna, who gave his nod
soon after," said Saini, the lawyer for the RWA.
In 2010, DDA tried demolishing the mosque six times, but was
unable to do so due to lack of adequate police protection.
Frustrated with the lack of action, the RWA again moved the court
in October 2010. The high court then issued a contempt notice
against Khanna, the DDA vice-chairman and the commissioner (Land
and Management) and asked them to submit a compliance report
within four weeks.
"Since the next date of hearing is Jan 14, we moved ahead with the
demolition plan," said DDA spokesperson Neemo Dhar.
Meanwhile the state Wakf Board claimed the land on which the
structure stood belonged to it.
"This land is wakf property and we have to moved to challenge this
demolition tomorrow (Friday)," Mohammad Arif, an officer of Delhi
Wakf Board said.
However Saini told IANS that the Wakf Board is not the party to
the case. "If they approach the court than its upto the court to
decide on their petition," he said.
This is not the only piece of DDA land acquired illegally. There
are at least 350 religious encroachments on DDA land at present,
said officials. As per an internal DDA survey carried out in 2010,
a total of 39.38 acres of land has been encroached upon by
religious structures, mostly in east Delhi.
The MCD has been trying to prevent such encroachments. "The MCD
commissioner has directed deputy commissioners to ensure that no
new religious encroachments come up on MCD land," said press and
information director Deep Mathur.