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इंडियन आवाज़     20 Aug 2019 07:03:05      انڈین آواز
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Fact-Finding Report of DMC on Legal Status of mosques, graves

DELHI MINORITIES COMMISSION
(Statutory Body Set up by DMC Act 1999)
Vikas Bhawan, Block “C”, first floor
I.P. Estate/ I.T.O., New Delhi 110002
Tel.: 011-23370823 Email: dmc_nct@rediffmail.com , chair.dmc@gmail.com

The Legal Status of
Religious Spaces in and around
West Delhi
A Fact-Finding Report

Submitted on 30 July 2019

[Report of the fact-finding committee formed by Delhi Minorities Commission to probe the claim of BJP MP from West Delhi constituency, Shri ParveshVerma, about “mushrooming of mosques on government land” in NCT of Delhi, especially in his constituency. Another BJP MP from Delhi Shri Manoj Tiwari has made similar allegation about other areas of Delhi. The said Shri Parvesh Verma also sent a letter to this effect to Hon’ble Lt. Governor demanding an enquiry.]

Released at the Press Conference
Held at the Conference Room, DMC
1 August 2019

Full report of “The Legal Status Of Religious Spaces In And Around West Delhi” is accessible here:

https://archive.org/details/dmc-report-on-illegal-mosques-delhi

Executive Summary
On 18th of June, 2019, Shri Parvesh Verma, Member of Parliament (MP) of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) representing West Delhi constituency complained about “the mushrooming of mosques on government land in the city and demanded their removal. Later on 10th July, 2019, he supported his claim by providing to the Lieutenant Governor (LG) of Delhi a list of 54 mosques and graveyards that allegedly exists in an unauthorised manner on government land across his constituency of West Delhi. These allegations created a sense of fear in the Muslim communities in Delhi as many of their mosques figured in the list of unauthorised or illegally built mosques, Madrasas and graveyards made public by Shri Parvesh Verma attracting print and electronic media attention to them and creating a sense of hatred towards Muslims in Delhi. Understanding the gravity of the situation arising from the serious allegations made by Members of Parliament representing Delhi, the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) instituted a five member fact finding committee on 24th June, 2019.
The committee visited 58 of Masjids, 3 Mazaars, 3 Madrasas, 3 Graveyards, and 1 Imambada including all the sites mentioned in the list of Shri Parvesh Verma covering a large area of five districts of Delhi, namely New Delhi, South West, West, North West and North districts. The findings of the committee about the list of Shri Parvesh Verma are as follows:
• 2 Qabristans, 2 Masjids and 1 Madrasa were found to belong to Delhi Waqf Board.
• 1 Qabristan allegedly allocated by the Delhi Government’s Urban Development Ministry in 2005, was used as a burial ground till 14 November 2017 and then people were stopped from burying their dead. Most of the graves have been vandalised and desecrated.
• 7 Masjids were given allotment by DDA/DUSIB/Gram Sabha in the name of the Masjids. Out of these, 2 Masjids have applied for allotment of land as the covering area of their Masjids was more than the allotted land.
• In the case of 23 Masjids and 1 Imambada, it was learnt that applications for allotment of land were submitted to the land owning authority by the committee of the respective Masjids. These masjids have been largely built in resettlement colonies where a large number of people were shifted by State authorities from central Delhi at different points of time. It was found that no action has been taken on their applications and they have been pending for the past few decades. Since no space for places of worship were allocated in resettlement colonies, people of different faiths built their places of worship in land available in these colonies.
• 6 Masjids and 1 Madrasa were found to be on private land which were purchased from either the land owning authorities or by a third party.
• In the case of 1 Masjid and 1 Mazaar, the fact finding team found that their property cases were sub-judice in the Courts.
• It was also observed that 2 Mazaars were illegally being converted into Mandirs.
• 2 Madrasas were found to be on the rented land.
• In 8 places no establishment of Masjids/Mazaars/Madrasa/Graveyard were seen. Either the addresses were incorrect or vacant plots were found.
• One mosque (P-1, Sultanpuri) appears twice in the list in No. 41 and No. 46.
• A local Masjid which was built around 1617, which comes under the Delhi Waqf Board, interestingly is being named as an encroachment on government land.

In brief, none of the names of Masjids/Mazaars/Madrasa/Graveyard were found to be illegally built or encroached on government land as claimed by Member of Parliament, Shri Parvesh Verma.
The Masjids, Madrasas, Mazaars and Qabristans mentioned in list Shri Parvesh Verma largely belong to the communities, families and individuals who were displaced or relocated in 1947 Partition, 1976 Emergency, and 2004 Commonwealth Games Preparations,
The Hon’ble Supreme Court on 16th February, 2010, has already given directions to all State Governments and Union Territories on removal/relocation/regularization of unauthorised religious constructions and the orders must be complied with.
Muslim Waqf properties have been mismanaged and encroached upon by non-government and government institutions, individuals and groups resulting in scarcity of space for places of worship and burial for Muslims.
There is a proliferation of Mandirs cropping up on the pavements, inside the public parks, under a tree and even illegally occupying various roads. Religious structures exist even inside public spaces like Police Stations, Municipal Corporation offices of Delhi, ASI protected monuments and also in government offices like in Vikas Bhawan where Delhi Minorities Commission is located.
In view of the above mentioned facts, the DMC Fact Finding team proposes the following recommendations:

  1. The fact finding committee has discovered that the claim that illegal Masjids, Qabristan, Mazaars and Madrasa have sprung up in West Delhi during the last 20 years was found to be false. There is sufficient grounds to initiate legal proceedings against Member of Parliament, Shri Parvesh Verma and those others making false claims, spreading rumours to target a particular community, and creating communal disharmony in Delhi.
  2. The fact finding committee recommend Delhi Minorities Commission to file a complaint against Member of Parliament, Shri Parvesh Verma in LokSabha’s Ethics Committee, as it is clearly found that he has violated his oath of office.
  3. In view of the Assembly Elections in Delhi in a few months time, there should be zero tolerance against those spreading hate and incitement to violence against particular communities and adequate protection must be given to people from vulnerable communities in Delhi.
  4. It has been found that large numbers of people have been evicted, relocated and resettled in resettlement colonies, but they have not been given ownership titles for the land they are occupying. Places of worship of all faiths built in these resettlement colonies need to be regularised. Applications for regularisation of places of worship in resettlement areas need to be processed and cleared by the concerned authorities at the earliest.
  5. The Qabristan (cemetery) at Vipin Garden should be given adequate protection from those desecrating and vandalising graves and it should be restored as a burial ground for Muslims.
  6. The Dargahs and Mazaars in Delhi should be restored with all its sanctity as a place of worship for all and efforts should be made to prevent these dargahs and Mazaars from being converted into Hindu places of worship. And Delhi Minorities Commission is requested to conduct a detailed fact-finding on this subject.
  7. The Supreme Courts orders on removal/relocation/regularisation of unauthorised religious structures must be complied with at the earliest by the concerned authorities in Delhi.
  8. For greater accountability in the Delhi Waqf Board, (a) the Waqf Board should be an elected body with periodic elections by the Muslim community in Delhi, (b) an annual report should be mandatorily published, (c) an independent committee should make an annual audit of the finances and properties of the Waqf Board.

    Analysis
    The list which was submitted by Member of Parliament, Shri Parvesh Verma contained 51 Masjids, 2 Mazaars, 3 Qabristan (Graveyards), and 2 Madrasas which he alleged were built on government land. The Committee visited each of these places and examined the current status which is as follows:
    • 2 Qabristans, 2 Masjids and 1 Madrasa were found to belong to Delhi Waqf Board.
    • 1 Qabristan allegedly allocated by the Flood Department in 2005, was used as a burial ground till 14 November 2017 and then people were stopped from burying their dead. Most of the graves have been vandalised and desecrated.
    • 7 Masjids were given land allotments by DDA/DUSIB/Gram Sabha in the name of the Masjids. Out of these, 2 Masjids have applied for allotment of land as the covering area of their Masjids was more than the allotted land.
    • In the case of 23 Masjids and 1 Imambada, it was learnt that applications for allotment of land were submitted to the land owning authority by the committee of the respective Masjids. These masjids have been largely built in resettlement colonies where a large number of people were shifted by State authorities from central Delhi at different points of time. It was found that no action has been taken on their applications and they have been pending for the past few decades.
    • 6 Masjids and 1 Madrasa were found to be on private land which were purchased from either the land owning authorities or by a third party.
    • In the case of 1 Masjid and 1 Mazaar, the fact finding team found that their property cases were sub-judice in Courts.
    • It was also observed that 2 Mazaars were illegally being converted into Mandirs.
    • 2 Madrasas were found to be on the rented land.
    • In 8 places no establishment of Masjids/Mazaars/Madrasa/Graveyard were seen. Either the addresses were incorrect or vacant plots were found.
    • One mosque appears twice in the list: No. 41 (P-1, Sultanpuri) and No. 46 (P-1, Sultanpuri, near nala) refers to the same mosque.
    • A local Masjid which was built around 1617, which comes under the Delhi Waqf Board, interestingly is being named as an encroachment on government land.
    In brief, none of the names of Masjids/Mazaars/Madrasa/Graveyard were found to be illegally built or encroached on government land as claimed by Member of Parliament, Shri Parvesh Verma.

    Proliferation of Mandirs on Public Land
    While visiting various Masjids, the committee saw umpteen numbers of
    Mandirs cropping up on the pavements, inside the public parks, under a tree and even illegally occupying various roads. A very interesting phenomenon came to the fore was that of ‘broken idols’ (Khandit Murtiyan) becoming Mandirs.
    When enquired more into this issue, the Committee got to know that the idols which break at homes are not thrown away but kept either under a tree or at a clean place somewhere outside their house. People then start praying and giving offerings which eventually expands and leads
    to the formation of a structure of a pucca Mandir. The consequences of it are encroachment of public land and space in the name of religion.
    The Committee not only observed these religious structures on public land but even inside the public spaces like Police Stations, Municipal Corporation offices of Delhi, ASI protected monuments and also in government offices like in Vikas Bhawan where Delhi Minorities Commission is located. This shows how religious places and its symbols have made their way in inside these premises which belong to people from all caste, class, religion
    and race. These places are supposed to remain neutral but are showcasing more and more majoritarian beliefs and culture whereby forcing others to internalize such practices. Though such practices have been called out by different authorities, they have met with
    tremendous resistance both from public and political class.
    In a RTI reply to Shri Intizar Naeem, East Delhi Municipal Corporation (EDMC)’s North and South Zones stated that 199 Mandirs, 4 Gurudwara, 8 Masjids and 1 Church are being illegally constructed in Parks under Horticulture Department. (October 2016)
    Some communal forces may compare our observations regarding illegal Mandirs with old Masjids, Dargahs and Mazaars which are on the roads. So, for them, there is an official reference – the government agreements between the Governor General of India’s Representative A.V. Askwith (Chief Commissioner of Delhi) and the then President of Sunni Majlis-e Auqaf, Khan Liyaqat Ali Khan. These official agreements were signed from 1942 to 1945, allowing the roads to be constructed on the lands of Masjids, Dargahas and Mazaars in newly evolving New Delhi.
    It can be said that these Masjids, Dargahas and Mazaars are not on the roads; rather the roads are built on the properties of Masjids, Dargahas and Mazaars.

    Recommendations
    In view of the Fact Finding mission conducted in Delhi to find out the veracity of the claims made by Member of Parliament, Shri Parvesh Verma, the DMC Fact Finding Committee proposes the following recommendations:
  9. The fact finding committee has discovered that the claim that illegal Masjids, Qabristan, Mazaars and Madrasa have sprung up in West Delhi during the last 20 years was found to be false. There is sufficient grounds to initiate legal proceedings against Member of Parliament, Shri Parvesh Verma and those others making false claims, spreading rumours to target a particular community, and creating communal disharmony in Delhi.
  10. The fact finding committee recommend Delhi Minorities Commission to file a complaint against Member of Parliament, Shri Parvesh Verma in Lok Sabha’s Ethics Committee, as it is clearly found that he has violated his oath of office.
  11. In view of the Assembly Elections in Delhi in a few months’ time, there should be zero tolerance against those spreading hate and incitement to violence against particular communities and adequate protection must be given to people from vulnerable communities in Delhi.
  12. It has been found that large numbers of people have been evicted, relocated and resettled in resettlement colonies, but they have not been given ownership titles for the land they are occupying. Places of worship of all faiths built in these resettlement colonies need to be regularised. Applications for regularisation of places of worship in resettlement areas need to be processed and cleared by the concerned authorities at the earliest.
  13. The Qabristan (cemetery) at Vipin Garden should be given adequate protection from those desecrating and vandalising graves and it should be restored as a burial ground for Muslims.
  14. The Dargahs and Mazaars in Delhi should be restored with all its sanctity as a place of worship for all and efforts should be made to prevent these dargahs and Mazaars from being converted into Hindu places of worship. And Delhi Minorities Commission is requested to conduct a detailed fact-finding on this subject.
  15. The Supreme Courts orders on removal/relocation/regularisation of unauthorised religious structures must be complied with at the earliest by the concerned authorities in Delhi.
  16. In order to ensure greater accountability in the Delhi Waqf Board, the following recommendations are made:
    a. It is recommended that the Waqf Board be an elected body with periodic elections by the Muslim community in Delhi. It could be similar to the elections and management of Gurudwaras in Delhi.
    b. In order to bring about greater transparency in the Delhi Waqf Board, an annual report should be mandatorily published.
    c. In order to bring about financial transparency, an independent committee should make an annual audit of the finances and properties of the Waqf Board.

For the full report visit :

https://archive.org/details/dmc-report-on-illegal-mosques-delhi

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