Has a long-lost Shahjahan-era Mughal mosque been found by Delhi Metro diggers Thats what chief minister Sheila Dikshit wants the Archaeological Survey of India to confirm.And her apprehensions are justified as locals have claimed that diggers have unearthed remains of the 17th century Akbarabadi Masjid a claim that DMRC has denied.
The CM held a meeting with senior officers of DMRC,chief secretary P K Tripathi and Matia Mahal MLA Shoaib Iqbal on Wednesday.We cannot hurt anyones feelings.As ASI is the expert on the subject we will request them to confirm it.DMRC will then take action in accordance with ASI findings, Dikshit told TOI.
A senior government officer said ASI experts have been asked to be present at the digging site to ensure that if there are any mosque ruins,those are protected.No one can deny a mosque stood there and was demolished later, said the officer.The mosque was constructed by Shah Jahans wife Akbarabadi Begum and was situated in the Netaji Subhash Park area near Jama Masjid.But the British demolished it after the Revolt of 1857.
Iqbal made a presentation to the CM and requested that the site be handed over to ASI and other agencies for further exploration and restoration of the mosque.He also asked the government to tell DMRC to stop work at the site.
Conservationists had earlier raised concerns about the location of Jama Masjid Metro station as it was close to the place where the mosque once stood.Archaeology experts had also said DMRCs excavation would ruin all archaeological evidence of the mosque.Plans to excavate the remains of the mosque and bring it to the surface were initially part of MCDs Jama Masjid redevelopment plan.But the plan never took off.
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