Shahi Masjid in New Delhi’s Dhaula Kuan | Zenaira Bakhsh


New Delhi: Sunlight streams through the holes in the rusted tin roof of Shahi Masjid in New Delhi’s Dhaula Kuan. The mosque is in a state of disrepair as is the adjacent Kangal Shah graveyard, and the madrasa behind it where a group of children are preparing their meals. The walls are crumbling, and the green paint is peeling, but hundreds of Muslims gather here to pray every Friday. Now, everyone is on edge because Shahi Masjid is slated to be demolished by the Delhi Development Authority.

The DDA claims that the mosque and madrasa are part of Central Ridge, a protected forest area where residential and commercial activities are prohibited, and that permission to raze the structure has been granted by the Delhi government’s Religious Committee. Now its fate will be decided by the Delhi High Court.

Members of the Muslim community, the mosque committee, and the Imam claim that Shahi Masjid is more than a hundred years old.

“How can it suddenly become an encroachment? This is our history,” says Mohammad Younus, 60, the general secretary of the mosque committee.

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