Deobandi mosque, seminary that sparks off Ashura violence, built on temple’s land

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Pakistan
Wednesday, 01 January 2014

gulaMasjid Ghulamullah, Jamia Talim ul Quran and cloth market of Raja Bazar Rawalpindi that sparked off Ashura violence, was originally built on the disputed land of a Hindu temple.

Largest circulated English newspaper of Pakistan Dawn has reported on July 13, 2013 that said Mosque and some other mosques continued to violate loudspeakers ban.

Dawn correspondent Mohammad Asghar reported from Rawalpindi in July 2013 that a report sent to the additional inspector general of police Special Branch Lahore, the Rawalpindi divisional police said there had been five incidents of illegal use of loudspeakers in mosques during last Friday prayers (July 5) alone.
However, no case had been registered and no cleric was arrested by the district police for violating government ban on the use of loudspeakers to promote sectarianism.

Qari Amanullah, a cleric at Jamia Taleem-ul-Quran, Raja Bazaar, was spotted violating the government ban on the use of loudspeakers during the Friday prayers, but the mosque was provided police protection during the prayers.

Jamia Masjid Madni’s (Sadiqabad) cleric Tanveer Alam Farooqi and Maulana Anees-ur-Rehman of the Jamia Masjid Makki Khayaban-e-Sir Syed were also found violating the ban on loudspeakers. Similarly, Maulana Aziz-ur-Rehman Hazarvi of Jamia Masjid Sadiq-a-Akbar Westridge and Qazi Abdur-Rashid of Qulzar-i-Quaid were also found using the loudspeaker illegally.

Shiite News reproduced these details to draw the attention of Shiites and other Pakistanis to the fact that Ashura procession had nothing to do with the said mosque and seminary and they had a habit of fanning sectarian hatred throughout the year when no Shia procession had passed through there.

An official of the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) told Dawn correspondent Aamir Yasin that the department was the owner of the land.

He said after Pakistan came into being, the mosque was built on a piece of land surrounded by the temple.

During the 1980s, the ETPB handed over an additional piece of land to the seminary on the directives of the then military dictator, Ziaul Haq and the clerics expanded the building.

“Total 103 shops were constructed on Khasra No U-1310 and U1310/A under the name of Madina Market and 22 shops on the temple property, U-1330, 1331 and 1332.” He added that the issue was taken up with the federal secretary religious affairs and minorities in 1985 but it was still not resolved. He admitted that the ETBP did not pursue the matter fearing a religious backlash.

When the mosque and cloth market were burnt in the sectarian clash, rescue officials

The temple, built on 12x14 square feet, became visible after the demolition of the burnt-down building.

Jag Mohan Arora, a leader of the Hindu community, said he never visited the temple because it remained hidden among the buildings.

“This is very strange that the temple remained out of the sight of the clerics. I was of the view that the temple had already been pulled down because over 10 temples in the city were demolished after the Babri mosque incident in 1992,” he said.

In a report, the ETPB Rawalpindi chapter stated that it owned total two residential properties and six commercial units, comprising the madressah, mosque and the cloth market.

The residential area of the two buildings owned by the ETPB was on rent of Rs590 per month and Rs900 per month, four commercial units adjoining the temple area rented out on Rs93 per month to Rs3,401 per month.

However, the area comprising the madressah, mosque and the cloth market, including Madina Market and Al-Umar Plaza, were under litigation since 1985.
“At present, the case is pending with the federal secretary,” the report said.

When contacted, ETBP assistant administrator Asif Khan said the land on which the mosque and madressah had been built was disputed.

He added that not the whole land but some of its portions given to the seminary during the Zia era were disputed.

Maulana Ashraf Ali, the caretaker of the Taleemul Quran Madressah, told Dawn that his late father Maulana Ghulamullah Khan had established the mosque and seminary after partition.

It is also relevant to add here that the Ashura procession was passing through same route for more than two centuries and no mishap was ever reported.

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