Congress Books FIR Against Demolitions Of Worship Places In Secretariat

Hyderabad, Aug.6 (Maxim News): Led by TPCC Minorities Department Chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail, Congress workers on Thursday held protest at Saifabad Police Station demanding registration of FIR against the demolition of two mosques and one temple in the Secretariat complex.

Mild tension prevailed at the Saifabad Police Station when the police officials refused to give acknowledgement or register the complaint. Abdullah Sohail had a heated argument with the officials and informed them it was the duty of the police to register a case and issue FIR on receipt of a complaint. He pointed out that the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in Lalita Kumari v. Govt. of U.P [W.P.(Crl) No; 68/2008] held that registration of First Information Report is mandatory under Section 154 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, if the information discloses commission of a cognizable offence and no preliminary inquiry is permissible in such a situation. He also handed over a copy of the Supreme Court to the police officials.

After much persuasion, the police officials agreed to make a General Dairy entry of the complaint lodged by the Congress leaders.

“Congress leaders have been trying to register an FIR against the illegal demolition of places of worship in the Secretariat premises. Two mosques, including a heritage structure, and one temple were illegally demolished in the Secretariat complex on the intervening night of 7th and 8th July, 2020 without any notice to the Masjid Committees or the Telangana State Wakf Board, which was the custodian of those properties. The Masjid Dafaatir-e-Muatamadi, was adjacent to the C Block and Masjid-e-Hashmi was situated near the D Block. One temple Nalla Pochamma Temple was located opposite to C Block. However, the concerned police station is not even accepting the complaint so as to avoid registration of FIR,” Abdullah Sohail told reporters at the Saifabad Police Station.

Sohail said that the demolition of places of worship in the Secretariat was a crime and open violation of Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 which says that the religious character of a place of worship existing on the 15th day of August, 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day. Further, he said that the land where mosques existed was not owned by the State Government although they were located in the Secretariat premises. Therefore, their demolition amounts to trespass and encroachment.

The Congress leader also referred to the statement issued by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on 10th July wherein he described the demolitions as accidental and also apologised for the same. He also assured to construct a new mosque and a temple along with the new Secretariat building. “If CM KCR was honest and demolition was accidental, then he would’ve ordered immediate restoration and repair. However, by razing all the places of worship to the ground, the State Government has proved that demolition was a deliberate act and CM KCR committed the crime intentionally,” he said.

“We’ve mentioned in the complaints lodged earlier the Chief Minister’s statement clear suggest that the demolition of places of worship was carried out without the knowledge of the State Government and the Chief Minister. It was done deliberately done on the instructions of a few unidentified officials to hurt the religious feelings, incite communal hatred, create animosity among different communities besides disturbing the Law & Order situation so as to destablise the present government. This was an act of sedition,” he said in his complaint.

Abdullah said that it was highly regrettable that nearly one month after the illegal demolition of places of worship, the Saifabad Police Station is openly refusing to even register an FIR. “We will go to the High Court if the police still refuse to register an FIR. We will not agree for anything less than re-construction of two mosques and the temple at the same place where they existed. We will not allow the construction of new Secretariat unless the re-construction of places of worship completes,” he said. (Maxim News)

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