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Yet another sixteenth century mosque demolished by angry Hindus

Last modified on Aug 09, 2001

A mosque built by a battalion of the Moghul army in the 16th century near Asind town in Bhilwara district of south Rajasthan was demolished by a mob of angry Hindus on July 27 2001, sending shock waves across the State.

The incident - which was concealed by the district administration for fear of a communal backlash - came to light on July 30 with the local residents approaching the Rajasthan Waqf Board. The Waqf Board records refer to the mosque as "Masjid Sawai Bhoj" which was in use till 1956 and abandoned thereafter apparently because of thin population of Muslims in the vicinity. Now that the unused Mosque has been demolished,  Muslims are agitated. This mosque was situated near the Sawai Bhoj temple - frequented mostly by the Hindu-Gurjar community - 3 km from Asind. An old dargah, known as Badia dargah, is also at some distance from the temple premises and an 'urs' is organised there on a large-scale every year. 

The trouble began during the three-day 'urs' celebrations which started on July 26. There was a dispute over the closure of the traditional route to the dargah, which used to pass through the temple complex. The temple trust had provided a new route, passing through the nearby Khari river, that had caused resentment among those visiting the dargah. The dispute took a violent turn when a Hindus objected to raising of tents near the dargah for organising qawwalis (devotional songs) during 'urs' on Friday.  The Hindus  later burnt them down. The angry Hindus later attacked the mosque and razed it to the ground in no time. 

A temple was been erected in the place of Mosque and called "Mandir Peer Pachhar Hanuman Ji" meaning "The Temple of Lord Hanuman who defeated Peer (Muslim saint).

Muslim leaders then demanded for removal of the idols from the place, and on Aug 01 they have been removed.  The muslims have also demanded the reconstruction of the mosque. Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal are against any attempt to reconstruct the mosque at Asind. 

Now it has been said that the people from Sangh (RSS) outfits had carried out the demolition of the mosque. Among those named in the FIR lodged in the case is Harjiram, a well-known RSS pracharak in the area. He was also the main accused in the case relating to demolition of the minarets of the mosque in 1985. Another prime accused, Mansukh, had canvassed for BJP candidate Ramlal Gurjar in the Assembly by-elections at Asind last year and was said to be close to Harjiram and another Hindu Militant organization Shiv Sena.

Sangh Parivar dominates the Sawai Bhoj Temple trust.  Apart from Harjiram, the trustees include BJP MLA Ramlal Gurjar and Kaluram Gurjar, a former minister in the BJP regime. Kaluram has declared that the "mosque can be reconstructed only over the dead bodies of Gurjars."  

May this tough stand remain ...............

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