Illegal mosque case: ASI gets more time to conduct survey

New Delhi, Dec 7: The Delhi High Court Friday granted more time to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to file its report on its probe to ascertain if any Mughal-era mosque structure existed near Subhash Park in central Delhi.

Seeking more time to submit a report, counsel for ASI told the court that IIT (Indian Institute of Technology)-Kanpur has said that it would submit its report by December-end.

The ASI had earlier assigned the task to conducting a ground penetration radar survey to IIT-Kanpur.

Granting more time to the ASI, a special bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice M.L. Mehta said: “ASI said some more time required to complete task assigned to it, so time is granted to ASI to submit the report.”

The structure was allegedly built by legislator Shoaib Iqbal at the Delhi Metro excavation site at Subhash Park, near the Jama Masjid, where the ruins of a purported 17th century mosque were unearthed.

Meanwhile, the court also asked Delhi Police to look into the allegations leveled by S.S. Omji, vice president of religious body, Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, that he has been attacked by Iqbal.

While making the submission, Omji broke down into the tears in the court and told that he has been repeatedly attacked by Iqbal. Seeking police protection, he also said that he has complaint to police many a times but no action has been taken.

The bench said: “The police would expeditiously look into the allegations made by S.S. Omji and file a status report in a sealed cover.” The bench would next hear the matter on Feb 1.

The court July 30 asked the ASI and the civic agency to remove the structure, and instructed police to provide protection to the demolition team.

The construction had come over the purported remains of a Mughal-era monument that surfaced during the digging work for a Delhi Metro station.

The court handed over the site to the ASI to ascertain if the ruins were indeed the remains of the Akbarabadi mosque.

IANS