Telangana to rebuild demolished mosques, temple at state secretariat

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HYDERABAD – Nearly two months after two mosques and a temple were demolished at the old state secretariat here, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Saturday announced that the government will rebuild them along with a church in the new secretariat complex.

He made the announcement when a delegation of Muslim leaders led by Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi called on him to demand reconstruction of the demolished places of worship.

Earlier, Christian leaders had also demanded construction of a church, saying church services were used to be held in the old secretariat.

Rao assured the delegation that he will lay the foundation stone for all three places of worship on the same day in true spirit of communal harmony for which Telangana is known and will ensure their speedy completion.

The Chief Minister noted the views and suggestions of the delegation of Muslim leaders which included All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader in Telangana Assembly Akbaruddin Owaisi, All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) secretary Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rehmani, AIMPLB member Mufti Khaleel Ahmed and Jamat-e-Islami Telangana unit chief Hamid Mohammed Khan.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, said the government will bear the cost of construction of all four places of worship.

The Chief Minister said each mosque will be constructed over an area of 750 square yards, thus the two mosques will be built over 1,500 square yards. He assured the delegation that the mosques would be reconstructed at the same sites where they stood and after the construction they will be handed over to the Wakf Board.

He also announced that the temple will be built on 1,500 square yards and after reconstruction, the same will be handed over to the endowments department.

KCR said since Christians also demanded the construction of a church in the secretariat, the government has decided to build the same.

Stating that Telangana is a symbol of ‘Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb’, the Chief Minister said the government respects all religions equally and hence it decided to build places of worship of all faiths in the secretariat.

The Muslim leaders, in their representation, demanded reconstruction of the mosques at the same place where they existed prior to July 7. They cited the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 under which the religious character of a place of worship existing on August 15, 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day.

The representation also referred to the Waqf Act, 1995, under which the nature of a Waqf property can’t be changed.

Later, addressing a news conference, the Muslim leaders thanked the Chief Minister for his announcement.

Asaduddin Owaisi said the Chief Minister also announced that 1,500 square yards of land between the two mosques will also be given to the mosques.

The MP said KCR agreed to allot a total of 150 acres in the Outer Ring Road area for Muslim graveyards.

KCR also proposed the post of vice-chairperson in the Official Languages Commission who will be entrusted with protection of Urdu language in Telangana. IANS

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