North corpn mayor blames police for illegal construction

She accuses ASI of ignoring mosque issue, questions Delhi Metros role

Even as thousands defied a municipal corporation ban to offer prayers at Subhash Park where ruins of an ancient mosque are said to have been discovered, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Friday blamed Delhi Police and Archaeological Survey of India for encroachment at the central Delhi location.

NDMC mayor Mira Aggarwal alleged that Delhi Police failed to provide its personnel to stop construction at the site despite repeated requests from the corporation.

“Right from the day when we took possession of the land on July 18, we wrote to Delhi Police requesting them to provide adequate police personnel to stop the illegal construction. But police officials kept saying they are monitoring the issue as it is a sensitive matter,” said Aggrawal.

“Having read newspaper reports that thousands of people are planning to congregate at the site to offer prayers on Friday, we again asked Delhi Police officials to cordon off the area, but the ban was defied today,” she added.

The mayor also accused ASI of handling the case casually, leading to the current situation. She also questioned the role of Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on the issue.

“The controversy over the site has been raging for quite some time, but ASI has failed to act on it. Moreover, the decision of DMRC to part with the land is also very surprising,” the mayor said.

“For months, they have been saying they were not in a position to vacate the land, but suddenly they agreed to part with it,” the mayor added.

Meanwhile, Delhi High Court on Friday stayed the construction of a mosque near the proposed Jama Masjid Metro station and told the municipal corporation to hand over the site to ASI.

The court’s full bench also told ASI to probe if the 17th century Akbarabadi Masjid existed on the site.

The mayor said with the court taking cognisance of the matter and asking police to provide cooperation to the corporation, the issue now is between the judiciary and Delhi Police.

“If any further construction takes place at the site or prayers are offered, it would be contempt of court and Delhi Police would be answerable,” Aggarwal said.  

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