Hyderabad: Intensifying the agitation against the demolition of places of worship in the Secretariat, the Congress party has launched a signature campaign demanding re-construction of two mosques and a temple at the same place.
Led by former minister and ex-Leader of Opposition Mohammed Ali Shabbir, Congress leaders launched the campaign near Mallepally Jama Masjid on Tuesday afternoon.
Speaking to media persons, Shabbir Ali said that it was unfortunate that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has deliberately hurt the sentiments of both Muslim and Hindu community by demolishing their places of worship in the Secretariat. Further, he said that the Chief Minister lied to the people by stating that the mosques and temple were not demolished but they suffered minor damage. Although the State Government has filed an affidavit in the High Court confirming that all the structures, including two mosques and one temple, have been razed to the ground, the Chief Minister did not utter a single word about their re-construction.
Shabbir asked the Chief Minister to clarify as to why his government carried out the demolition of the Secretariat in a secret manner. He said the media was allowed to enter the Secretariat to record visuals of the demolition only after the intervention of the High Court. However, he said that the media was not allowed to visit the places where mosques and temple stood before demolition. He said that a vague and misleading picture of the new Secretariat design has been circulated in the media. He asked the Chief Minister to specify as to why the design of the new Secretariat was not placed in the public domain. “Secretariat is a public building and people have a right to know everything about it. KCR can maintain secrecy if he is constructing his own house. But he cannot keep the information pertaining to Secretariat as secret as it is being constructed using public money,” he said.
The Congress leader recalled that both the mosques in the Secretariat were renovated when he was the minister in the cabinet of the then Chief Minister Dr. Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy. “As the then cabinet minister, I had laid the foundation stone for both Masjid-e-Hashmi and the Masjid-e-Moatamadi. The then Congress Government not only protected the places of worship, but also spent money for the expansion. But CM KCR, who claims himself to be a secular leader, demolished two mosques without giving a second thought,” he alleged.
Further, Ali said that the KCR Government has demolished six mosques across Telangana State. He reminded that Masjid-e-Ek Khana, a heritage structure in Amberpet, was demolished last year in the name of road expansion. Despite several assurances, the State Government did not re-construct the mosque at the same places. He alleged that CM KCR was not acting like the head of TRS Govt, but “T-RSS Govt.”
He alleged that the Chief Minister has been cheating the Muslim community since beginning. He said KCR came to power by promising 12% reservation in jobs and education for Muslims within four months after coming to power. KCR not only forgot this promise, but now he is openly hurting the religious sentiments of Muslim community, he alleged.
Shabbir demanded that the Chief Minister immediately order the reconstruction of two mosques and a temple at the same place in the Secretariat. He warned that the Congress party would intensify the agitation if the Chief Minister fails to take action on immediate basis.
TPCC General Secretary Sk Afzaluddin, TPCC Minorities Dept Chairman Shaik Abdullah Sohail, Nampally Incharge Feroz Khan, Hyderabad City Congress Vice President Osman Khan and other leaders participated in the programme.