The Sunni Waqf Board and All-India Muslim Law Board on Tuesday alleged that the administration in the Barabanki district of Uttar Pradesh demolished a mosque and demanded a judicial probe into it.
"The century-old Garib Nawaz mosque in Ram Sanehi Ghat tehsil was demolished by the administration without any legal justification on Monday night in the presence of police," claimed All-India Muslim Law Board (AIMPLB) working general secretary Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rehmani in a statement.
Meanwhile, the authorities said they demolished an illegal structure on court orders.
“There was no dispute relating to the mosque. It is also listed with the Sunni Waqf Board. The SDM of Ram Sanehi Ghat had asked for papers of the mosque from the mosque committee in March against which the mosque management committee had approached the Allahabad High Court," he said, adding that the mosque was pulled down by the administration without any notice.
He demanded a judicial inquiry into the case by a sitting High Court judge and suspension of officials responsible for the action.
He also asked for stopping the process of removing the debris from the spot and ensuring that no other structure is allowed to come up on the land.
"It is the duty of the government to construct the mosque at the place and hand it over to the Muslims," he said.
Meanwhile, District Magistrate Adarsh Singh described the construction, said to be a mosque and its residential area, as illegal.
"A notice was served on people concerned on March 15, giving them an opportunity to put forth their views over the ownership but those residing there fled after receiving the notice," the DM said in a statement.
The tehsil administration got its possession on March 18, the DM said.
He said the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court had disposed of a petition filed in this connection on April 2, which proved that the construction was illegal.
The DM said later a case was filed in the court of the SDM, Ram Sanehi Ghat, and its orders were complied with on May 17.
Joint magistrate Divyanshu Patel also termed the construction as illegal. The building was brought down on court orders, he said.
The UP Sunni Central Waqf Board also condemned the incident, terming it as the misuse of power.
"The mosque near the tehsil premises has been demolished by the Ram Sanehi Ghat SDM in the name of removing encroachment. I strongly condemn this illegal and arbitrary action," said Waqf Board chairman Zufar Farooqui, adding that they will soon file a case in the court in this regard.