, by MOHAMMAD NAUSHAD KHAN
The tug of war between political parties to win over one another was evident in the aftermath of demolition of mosque at Kadalpur village in district Gautam Budh Nagar of UP. The decision taken in haste to suspend IAS officer Durga Shakti Nagpal by Samjwadi Party Government in the State is considered by many to be an action either to avert communal riot or to take the advantage of the situation to keep minority votes intact. To some others, it could be political conspiracy by any one of the stake holders in UP to polarise the masses.
Ms. Nagpal, the 28-year-old SDM of GB Nagar, who led the crackdown on sand mining mafia in her district, was suspended on July 27 allegedly for ordering the demolition of the wall of a mosque without following the required guidelines. However, as per report of Local Intelligence Unit (LIU), which was sent to Uttar Pradesh, has claimed that the wall of an under-construction mosque was demolished in Gautam Budh Nagar in the presence of Circle Officer/SDM Jewar and Durga Shakti Nagpal was not present at the spot.
The District Magistrate, GB Nagar has already given clean chit to Nagpal in his report to the state government that Nagpal had not got the wall of the mosque demolished.
The ground on which the Uttar Pradesh government suspended Nagpal has got mix response and has not been completely endorsed by the Muslim community. Er. Muhammad Salim, Secretary of JIH, while reacting to the issue said it is wrong on the part of the Akhilesh Yadav administration to give communal tone to the political decision. It is unfair to use Islam and Mosque to justify political decision and the impression that has been gathered from the development was that the government was deliberately trying to drag the community in this issue. It became so politically sensitive that Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister stepped in to take high moral ground on the issue.
Dr Zafarul Islam Khan in his article in the Milli Gazette on 4 August has written that it is a Muslim-dominated village with a population of 5000 out of which 80 per cent are Muslims. Previously, it had only one mosque at one corner of the village. Residents on the other end of the village had to walk a distance of two kms to reach the mosque. In view of the need due to growing population, a gram sabha vacant land was chosen according to a decision made way back in 1982. Villagers came forward to donate to first fill and prepare the land at a cost of one lakh rupees, and then they built walls around the plot and placed a tarpaulin, water tank, built a place for ablution and placed mats for offering prayers.
Villagers of Kadalpur are angry over the manner in which the mosque was demolished and that too during the month of Ramadhan. Many believe that the entire issue could have been handled in an amicable manner. There is resentment over the demolition of the mosque but at the same time people are relieved that another riot was averted in the state.