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Now, Hindu outfit demands archaeological survey of Bhopal's Jama Masjid, rakes up temple theory


BHOPAL: While Gyanwapi Mosque case in Varanasi continues to hog headlines, a similar issue seems brewing over 700 kms away in the Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal. 

A local right wing Hindu outfit Sanskriti Bachao Manch, while claiming that the Jama Masjid located in old Bhopal's Chowk Bazar locality was built in the 19th century on a Shiva Temple, has sought from the state government, a detailed archaeological survey of the mosque.

The outfit's head Chandrashekhar Tiwari met the state's home minister Narottam Mishra in Bhopal on Thursday and submitted a memorandum, demanding detailed survey of the Jama Masjid.

Tiwari is also preparing to file a petition in the local court in Bhopal over the issue in the coming days.

"We've submitted a memorandum to the home minister in Bhopal on Thursday, demanding detailed archaeological survey of the Jama Masjid. Next we'll petition the court in Bhopal, seeking survey and excavation in the Mosque to bare the history of the mosque having been built over a Temple called Sabha Mandap," Tiwari told The New Indian Express on Thursday.

"What has been stated by us in the memorandum to the home minister and what will be mentioned in the petition in the coming are not based on any fanciful thinking, but actually is based on facts mentioned in the Hayate-I-Qudsi (book on Bhopal's first woman ruler Nawab Qudsia Begum)," he said.

The woman ruler (1819-1832) built the Jama Masjid and Gohar Mahal Palace in Bhopal. 

In the book on her life, "It has been mentioned that the work on building the Jama Masjid in Bhopal started in 1832 and entire mosque was built in 1857. It has also been clearly mentioned in that very book that the mosque was built on the same land where a Hindu Temple known as Sabha Mandap had already existed.

"We hope that the state government helps us and every Hindu in knowing the actual truth about Bhopal's Jama Masjid having been built on the ruins of the Hindu temple," Tiwari said.

Importantly, before Tiwari took up the issue on Thursday, the same issue with similar demand was raised on social media by another right wing Hindu outfit, Hindu Dharma Sena.

Yogesh Agrawal, the Jabalpur based state president of the Hindu Dharma Sena, had raised the issue of the Jama Masjid in Bhopal, having been built on the ruins of a Shiva Temple called Sabha Mandap.

Agrawal is the same saffron brigade leader, who few weeks back, had demanded ban on entry of non-Hindus on river Narmada ghats in Jabalpur.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJP's state spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi said the Hindu outfit's demand, if supported with concrete evidence, needs to be discussed at the highest level.