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Monday, April 22, 2024

Delhi: Hindu villagers arrested while protesting against construction of Dwarka’s Haj house

Delhi police have filed an FIR against Hindu villagers who were protesting against the proposed construction of Haj House at Dwarka in New Delhi. Police officials have cited violation of Covid norms as the reason for registering an FIR against the protestors.

Residents of Dwarka raised questions regarding the benefits of having a Haj House constructed at the site and even voiced concerns about the place turning into another Covid hotspot and superspreader like the Tablighi Jamaat event.

BJP President Adesh Gupta, while speaking at the protests, said that instead of a Haj House school, college, or hospital should be constructed at the site since there is a shortage of these in Delhi and added “Instead of building them, the Delhi Government is supporting a particular community for political gains. The Haj House coming up in sector 22 of Dwarka is totally against wishes of people and we are with villagers of these 360 khap panchayats“.

The idea of constructing the Haj House at Dwarka’s sector 22 was mooted in 2008 by then Congress CM Sheila Dixit. Accordingly, 5000 square meters of land was allotted at Dwarka. However, the project had to be stalled after locals protested against it. In 2018, the Arvind Kejriwal government allocated 94 crores rupees for its construction.

Dwarka residents and Gupta alleged that the AAP government is playing vote-bank politics. They even pointed out that not many Muslims reside in the area and hence constructing a Haj House at Dwarka makes no sense. Gupta added that the Delhi Waqf Board owns land across the city and could get the Haj House built anywhere else.

The Print has quoted some of the protestors as saying:

“What if Haj House ends up becoming another Tablighi Jamaat situation where people are gathering together and traveling and spreading disease? This can start another Covid-19 wave,” Rajesh Kumar, a 28-year-old e-rickshaw driver who works in Dwarka Sector 23.

“The state government is creating a Haj House to get the Muslim vote. Let’s not forget the land was allotted when the Congress government was in power,” said a shopkeeper at Kisan Mandi Dwarka while speaking to ThePrint on the condition of anonymity.

The Pradhan (Chief) of Palam village expressed similar sentiments and said “The Delhi government is trying to build its vote bank. If they want to build something, they should construct a school, hospital, or park. Why are they making it for one community? Why are they wasting the taxpayers’ money like this”. Several protestors also pointed out that the government could easily expand the existing Haj House at the airport and there was no need for getting a new one constructed in a residential area.

Ajit Swami, the All Dwarka Residents’ Federation’s President opined “We already have a mosque in Dwarka’s sector-11. If the government wants to construct one, it should be on waqf board land. Why use public money for this? The population of Muslims is very less in the area. The mosque has only around two dozen people visiting it”.

Earlier, the All Dwarka Residents’ Federation wrote to Lt Governor (LG) Anil Baijal asking him to cancel the allotment of land for the construction of Haj House. BP Vaishnav, secretary of the Federation had written to the LG expressing his concern at law and order being disturbed owing to the proposed Haj House construction. “There will be every possibility of riots, migration of Hindus and repetition of a situation like Shaheen Bagh, Jaffrabad and Kashmir”, the letter points out.

In the meanwhile, a senior police official has said that a case has been filed under appropriate laws and further investigations are ongoing.

(Featured Image Source: The Print)

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