ASI Puzzled As Word ‘Masjid’ Goes Missing From Khirki Mosque In South Delhi
The mosque was in the news after there was a demand for namaz to be allowed here.
The word ‘masjid’ has again gone missing from a 14th century Khirki Mosque in Delhi. The word on the blue board put up by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) outside the monument has been painted in white. The incident has become a mystery for the authorities.
This has happened despite the presence of three guards outside the monument. According to The Indian Express, one of the guards said, “The first time this happened was a year-and-a-half ago… We told an ASI official and we were asked to rewrite ‘masjid’. The next day, it was smudged again… Some locals are convinced this is a fort built by Maharana Pratap.”
The mosque was in the news after there was a demand for namaz to be allowed here. In April, the Delhi High Court had left it to the Centre to decide if namaz should be offered here or not.
“It is a very sensitive matter and we had no idea about this. Maybe the ASI in-charge didn’t inform senior officials. This has not been done by the ASI, but by some miscreants. We will get it rectified soon,” said a source at the Delhi Circle of ASI.
The mosque, located in the vicinity of the Saket malls was built by Malik Maqbul, the Prime Minister of the Delhi Sultanate during Feroz Shah Tughlaq’s reign in the 14th century.
The monument is facing an identity crisis as it does not have any board or hoarding highlighting its past. Some locals believe it is a fort built by Maharana Pratap, while others say it’s a mosque. The ASI plans to put up one board underlining the details after it begins the restoration work at the mosque.
However, the ASI says prayers can’t be offered here as it is in the category of ‘non-living monument’.
In May, another state-notified monument from the Tuglaq dynasty in Safdarjung Enclave’s Humayunpur village in South Delhi turned into a Shiv Bhola temple. This transformation happened in two months’ time.