The stay on the construction of a mosque in Atali village near Ballabhgarh was extended till the first week of July by a Faridabad court on Monday. The Muslim community in the riot-affected village said they had returned to the village only after receiving assurance that they would be allowed to rebuild a part of the mosque before the beginning of Ramzan on June 18. They said they will approach the district administration regarding the issue on Tuesday.
“We were repeatedly assured that if we returned to the village, everything will return to normal. But the two things we wanted – to pray peacefully during Ramzan and the arrest of those who torched our homes – have not been achieved. It has been almost three weeks since the rioting and nothing has happened. It seems we won’t be able to pray during Ramzan (at the village mosque),” said Nizam Ali, a village resident.
The half-built mosque was the flashpoint of the communal rioting at the village on May 25 when 2,000 heavily armed men allegedly set the mosque on fire. Muslim homes and shops were also burnt in an hour-long rampage.
The district administration had assured the Muslim community that they would be allowed to begin construction on a part of the mosque before Ramzan, but Suresh Chaudhary, a resident of Atali, approached the court soon after, filing a petition seeking a stay on the construction of the mosque.
Advocate Narender Kumar Singla, who filed the petition on behalf of Suresh Chaudhary, said there are several provisions prohibiting any construction on the property in the case. While advocate Ratan Lal, who represents the Muslim community, said the court had already ruled that the mosque was being constructed on land belonging to the Haryana Waqf.
Previously, on March 31, civil judge Vinay Sharma ruled that after a “close scrutiny” of the case, the “inevitable conclusion” was that the disputed property “has always been in possession of the Muslim community”. The order noted that “though the plaintiffs. have tried to establish that the suit property vests in the Gram Panchayat, they have miserably failed to do so”.