DEMANDING THAT the Places of Worship Act, 1991, be abolished and that a high-level committee be appointed to “reclaim land from mosques constructed over ancient temples,” Wasim Rizvi, former chairman of Uttar Pradesh Shia central Waqf Board, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday. Demanding that the “original status” of such sites be restored, Rizvi gave details of such structures not just in Uttar Pradesh but also in Gujarat, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and New Delhi.
Rizvi gave examples of Keshav Dev Mandir and “Krishna Janmabhoomi” in Mathura and claimed that the temple was demolished by Aurangzeb in 1670 and a mosque was constructed there. He also cited the example of Atala Devi Temple in Jaunpur district of eastern Uttar Pradesh and claimed that the temple was demolished in 1377 by Firoz Shah Tughlaq and Atala Mosque was built instead.
Rizvi alleged in the letter that these ancient temples were demolished by the Mughals and “mosques were illegally constructed instead.” He wrote that India is a democratic country but “hardliners who came from outside looted the country”.
“Thus, it is my request that the Places of Worship Act, 1991… should be abolished and such mosques should be removed from these places and a high level committee or new legislation should be constituted to restore temples in their original places,” wrote Rizvi. “I have sent a proposal to the Prime Minister to abolish The Places of Worship Act, 1991, which was formulated by Congress to appease radical forces and protect illegal mosques construted by mugols by demolition of temples. I have given details of such mosques and temples,” claimed Rizvi.
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