L-G asks all to wait for HC order on mosque site

Lieutenant-Governor Tajendra Khanna on Monday appealed to all stakeholders of the Subhash Park site, where remains believed to be of a Mughal-era mosque have been unearthed, to exercise restraint and wait for the Delhi High Court's direction.

The High Court on Friday had stopped reconstruction of the mosque and directed the civic authorities to immediately hand over the site to ASI, which was asked to ascertain if the remains are that of Akbarabadi Masjid.

Residents, led by Matia Mahal MLA Shoaib Iqbal, had raised a structure at the site defying orders. The area witnessed violence after the authorities refused to allow construction at the site.

Khanna, who convened a high-level emergency meeting on Monday, directed police to maintain law and order in the area. Power Minister Haroon Yusuf, Chief Secretary R Chandramohan, Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar, North municipality mayor Mira Aggarwal, ASI Director General Gautam Sengupta, the Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid, Matia Mahal MLA Shoaib Iqbal and VHP vice-president Om Prakash Singhal were present, among others.

Khanna directed the North municipality to ensure that no congregation is allowed at the site.

The North Municipal Corporation blamed the Delhi Metro for the mess. It said the Metro authorities handed over the site to the civic agency on July 18, when they saw that the situation has gone out of their control and construction of the illegal structure has started.

The L-G told the ASI Director General to take possession of the 2-acre land in Subhash Park. "The land should be handed over to ASI to ascertain the nature of the old structure," he said.

In the High Court on Monday, the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) sought contempt proceedings against Shoaib Iqbal, the Union government and Delhi Police chief for allegedly allowing illegal construction at Subhash Park.

Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw took note of the petition and posted the matter for July 25 when the police would submit a status report.

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