May 22, 2024

Qazi Mizan: Demolition threat looms over prominent and historic Anjuman Ittihadul-Muslimeen Masjid and its adjoining madrassa (seminary) here as the management has received a third notice from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). The corporation has categorised the structures in Mumbai’s ‘Chal No 4918 and 4920,’ as “very dilapidated” and falling under the ‘C One’ category.
The latest notice was issue by the BMC last month. Despite their relentless efforts, the Anjuman Ittihadul-Muslimeen Masjid trustees and concerned residents have been unable to secure a court-ordered stay, heightening concerns in the community.
Anjuman Ittehadul-Muslimeen, registered since 1987, has been a center for religious and educational activities. Regular prayers are being performed in the mosque’s first floor since its establishment many years before formal registration.
Aslam Ismail Sheikh, a trustee of the mosque, revealed the challenges faced by the community. “We conducted an audit and submitted a report when we received the first notice from BMC.
Unfortunately, the report was not accepted, and subsequent reports were also rejected. We approached a court, but did not get a stay,” media reports quoted Sheikh as saying.
The ongoing development in the area, led by Transcon Developers, has added complexity to the situation. Sheikh said negotiations with the construction company were not productive as the proposal to relocate affected individuals to higher floors was met with resistance due to concerns about the safety of the structure.
The trustees have approached Aslam Sheikh, the Congress MLA representing the Malad West Assembly Constituency in Mumbai. Assuring all assistance during a visit to the mosque, Aslam Sheikh said, “Efforts will be exerted to ensure that no injustice is done to anyone. The problem could be resolved better through dialogue, but the trustees and residents opted for a legal route hastily.”
The trustees and residents are now demanding an opportunity from the BMC to carry out repairs under specified guidelines. They assert that the structures, particularly the mosque and madrassa, are robust and not in danger of collapse. Allegations of collusion between BMC and the construction company to seize the valuable land have further fueled their determination to fight against the demolition.
As the community braces for the impending threat, the battle to save the historic mosque and madrassa continues, with hopes pinned on legal recourse and public support.

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