The Indian authorities removed a historic mosque, about 500 years old, in the city of Allahabad, in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, under the pretext of widening a main road, according to local media.
Activists circulated a video on social media documenting the demolition of a large part of the historic Shahi mosque in the city of Allahabad, under the pretext of widening the public road.
The city police said, in a statement, “The Public Works Department is conducting expansion works for the main road in the Handia area in the city of Prayagraj, and the presence of the mosque – which was built about 5 centuries ago – in its current location hinders this expansion.”
Local media reported that the mosque, which was built in the 16th century, was demolished a few days before the judiciary was due to consider a lawsuit calling for stopping the demolition process, after the Supreme Court had earlier rejected a petition to stop its demolition.
Muslims make up about 13 per cent of India’s 1.35 billion population.
Since the extremist Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014, India has witnessed a noticeable increase in hate speech and attacks against Muslims.
Mosques in India have been subjected, during the past years, to a series of attacks, the most famous of which was extremist Hindus, including leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, demolishing the historic Babri Mosque in the north of the country in 1992, and building a Hindu temple in its place. This sparked a wave of violence between the two sides throughout the country, leaving about 2,000 people dead.