BJP Barabanki MP accuses Sunni Waqf Board of land-grabbing, backs mosque demolition

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Lucknow, May 19 (PTI) BJP's Barabanki MP Upendra Rawat wrote to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Wednesday, supporting the demolition of a mosque in the district and accusing the Sunni Waqf Board of grabbing government land.

The Waqf Board has grabbed government land in the name of mosques and got them registered illegally, Rawat said, demanding a probe in the matter.

The Barabanki administration had on Monday night pulled down the mosque at the Ram Sanehi Ghat tehsil, saying the construction was illegal and demolished on court orders.

'I request the chief minister to probe the illegal grabbing of land by the Sunni Waqf Board in the name of mosques in districts and take strict action against those found guilty,' Rawat wrote.

Speaking to PTI, the MP referred to the Sunni Waqf Board's stand that the mosque was 100 years old and asked why it was registered in 2018 if it was that old.

Waqf Board chairman Zufur Farooqui, meanwhile, said the board was ready for any probe in this matter.

Asked about the Ram Sanehi Ghat mosque, he said it was registered in 1968 as a religious place.

The All-India Muslim Law Board (AIMPLB) and the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board on Tuesday demanded a judicial probe into the demolition.

'The century-old Garib Nawaz mosque in Ram Sanehi Ghat tehsil was demolished by the administration without any legal justification on Monday night in the presence of police,' AIMPLB working general secretary Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rehmani said in a statement.

Barabanki District Magistrate (DM) Adarsh Singh, however, said the structure was illegal, and the tehsil administration got its possession on March 18.

He said the the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had disposed of a petition filed in this connection on April 2, which proved that the construction was illegal.

The DM said a case was then filed in the court of the sub-divisional magistrate of Ram Sanehi Ghat, and its orders were complied with on May 17.

Farooqui said the Waqf Board will soon file a court case. PTI ABN IJT IJT

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