A day after two mosques and a temple were demolished as part of the ongoing demolition activities for the construction of new secretariat complex in Hyderabad, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday, July 10, expressed regret over the damage caused to places of worship during the demolition of old buildings and promised that the government will construct a new temple and mosque at their expense.

KCR regrets damage to temple, mosque
Rao expressed 'regret and pain over some inconvenience' caused to the religious structures at the old Secretariat complex.

Expressing 'regret and pain over some inconvenience' caused to the religious structures at the old Secretariat complex, Rao said, "I feel sorry about the incident. It should not have happened. The government's intention is to build a new complex by demolishing the old buildings without causing any damage to the temple or the mosque."

The Telangana chief minister said that in the new Secretariat premises, a new temple and mosque would be constructed on a more spacious spot even if it meant spending crores of rupees.

"We will construct a temple and a mosque in the new Secretariat premises in a more spacious way even if it means spending crores of rupees. We will construct the temple and mosque at government cost and hand them over to the people concerned. I will have a meeting with the temple and mosque management very soon. After discussing with them, along with the new Secretariat, places of worship will also be constructed. This is my promise," an official release quoted him as saying.

This announcement comes a day after religious leaders from the Muslim community, including Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi, and the BJP, threatened to protest against the Telangana government.

'Telangana govt remained secular'

KCR maintained that his government remained secular. "Telangana is a secular state. We will continue to follow the secular spirit, come what may. This incident happened unexpectedly. Everyone should understand this properly without prejudice," the CM said.

Owaisi on temple, mosque demolition

Reacting to KCR's statement, Owaisi said, "Received the following statement regarding the places of worship in the recently demolished Secretariat complex: Chief Minister Sri K Chandrashekhar Rao has expressed his regret & pain over some inconvenience caused to the temple and Mosque in the Secretariat premises due to the demolition works taking place there. The CM declared that in the new Secretariat premises itself, a new temple and Mosque would be constructed in a more spacious site, at the government's cost."

The AIMIM leader also said: "Detailed statement will be issued by United Muslim Forum very soon. I welcome the statement issued by @TelanganaCMO expressing government regret on the demolition of Masjids and Temples during the demolition of the Secretariat buildings."

Matter of Sharia, Muslim community kept in dark

This decision of KCR govt stirred havoc amongst the Muslim community of Telangana, as the Islamic clerics and the scholars allege that they were kept in the dark about the demolition of the two mosques. They also claim that the govt saw these sites as obstruction since the beginning of the construction of the new secretariat.

New Telangana Secretariat building design
New Telangana Secretariat building design.

According to reports, the demolition began at midnight on Monday and the mosques, Masjid Dafaatir-e-Muatamadi, Masjid-e-Hashmi situated in the C Block and D block of the premises, were demolished overnight.

The initial reports suggested the copies of the Quran and prayer mats were moved out of the mosque prior to the demolition. The mosques were shut due to the coronavirus lockdown and the mosque which remains crowded during Friday prayers, was vacant as no one was allowed to visit amid the lockdown.

Leaders of the United Muslim Forum (UMF) called the demolition of the two mosques ''tragic'' and ''unconstitutional''. According to the Islamic belief, the mosque remains the property of Almighty Allah and its status can never be altered as it is a matter of Sharia. They said Muslims were angry with the government over its action because according to the Islamic belief. Previously, Mohammed Mahmood Ali, deputy chief minister assured the mosques will remain untouched.