Mosque case: Petitioner seeks action against lawmaker (Lead)

July 23rd, 2012 - 8:49 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) A petitioner Monday moved the Delhi High Court seeking contempt of court proceedings against legislator Shoaib Iqbal, the central government and Delhi’s police chief for allegedly allowing illegal construction at an excavated site near the historic Jama Masjid.

The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) sought in its petition the removal of construction at the site, where a mosque was being built by some area residents and thousands of Muslims offered Friday prayers claiming that ruins of a Mughal-era mosque were found there.

Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw took note of the ABHM petition and posted the matter for July 25 when the main matter will come up for hearing and police would submit a status report.

The court Friday put a stop on construction work and asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to take over the site at Subhash Park and to ascertain if the Akbarabadi Masjid, whose ruins were being claimed to have been found there, did exist or not.

The authorities defused a potentially volatile situation Saturday and handed over the site to archaeologists. Later in the night, protestors pelted stones at police, injuring 10 personnel posted there. Two people were arrested.

Vice president of ABHM S.S. Sai Baba and two members filed the application seeking comtempt action for act “by conspirators who are habitual encroacher, land grabber and law breakers”.

The court earlier ordered the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to cordon off the excavated site with police assistance.

Members of the filed the contempt plea against Iqbal, councillor Khurram Iqbal, Delhi Metro chief Mangu Singh, municipal commissioner P.K. Gupta, police chief Neeraj Kumar and the central government.

The petition sought the removal of construction and curbs on gathering at the upcoming mosque’s site. It also sought action against responsible for the “illegal construction”.

It said that the illegal construction and expansion work was going on even after the court’s curbs.

“It was also found that prayers/sermons/appeals/speeches were being delivered from the illegally fabricated structure,” said the petition.

Filing intervening application in the case, the petition claimed that we “believe that there was a Hindu/Jain temple at the site”.

Iqbal, who is campaigning for a new mosque at the site, had earlier said the court decision went “against people’s sentiments and faith”.

According to Iqbal, the remains of the Mughal-era mosque were found when Delhi Metro dug up the area for laying a new line. Since then, Iqbal had been allegedly overseeing the building of a brick-and-mortar mosque at the very spot.

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