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Built Centuries Ago, Akhondji Mosque and Madrasa Bulldozed in Delhi

The Delhi high court on Thursday asked the Delhi Development Authority to explain why it demolished the mosque. It is in an ASI list of 3,000 monuments published in 1920.

New Delhi: On the morning of January 30, officials from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), accompanied by police personnel and bulldozers, conducted a demolition operation in Mehrauli. 

The Sanjay Van area witnessed the demolition of a 700-year-old mosque, Masjid Akhondji, an adjacent madrasa and a small temple.

Allegations have emerged that the DDA’s actions may violate high court orders. In  September 2023, the DDA assured the court that it would not demolish mosques and properties under the Waqf Board without demarcation. 

The court had specifically directed the DDA to carry out demarcation before any action, emphasising the importance of determining boundaries. 

However, the recent operation bypassed the demarcation process.

The Delhi high court on Thursday (Feburary 1) asked the DDA to explain why it demolished the mosque in the national capital on Tuesday.

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) records, as reported by Scroll.in, indicate the historical significance of the Akhondji mosque. 

Published in 1920, a list of 3,000 monuments mentions the mosque’s repairs around 1853, although its construction date remains unknown.

“The mosque is covered with an arched roof and entered through three arches supported on double pillars of grey local stone. It is built of rubble masonry plastered,” ASI records say according to Scroll.in.

After the DDA razed the mosque, the madrasa and the adjoining graves, the mosque’s imam Zakir Hussain and his family have been left without a shelter as his home was also razed. 

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