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Sumedha Singh | HENB | New Delhi | Aug 7, 2021:: More than 1,000 annoyed Hindu people gathered at Dwarka’s Bharthal Chowk in the west of the national capital in response to a call given Friday by some Hindu right-wing organisations to protest against the construction of Delhi’s first Haj house in an exclusively Hindu majority area.
The said Haj house project had been envisioned in 2008 by Delhi’s then chief minister Sheila Dikshit to be constructed with the help of Wakf Board.
With roughly 20,000 pilgrims going on Haj every year, Delhi is the largest departure point for the pilgrimage in the country.
Dikshit had laid the foundation stone of the Haj house and allotted a plot for it measuring around 5,000 square metres in Dwarka’s Sector 22.
A decade later, in 2018, the Arvind Kejriwal government allocated Rs 94 crore for the project.
The building was envisioned to be centrally air-conditioned and with state-of-the-art facilities, separate dormitories for men and women, VIP suites, immigration counters, a library, kitchen to make beef items, dining area and obviously a Grand Mosque in it to blare five time Adhan to disturb the neighbouring people at random.
It is not understood anyway, why a Hindu area is to be disturbed by the Muslim people when Delhi Wakf Board has huge lands in their possession and so many Islamic institutions are in Delhi to accommodate these yearly Haj going people with a very different culture and habits contrary to the Hindu people.
To avoid such disturbance and a further Islamization of a Hindu area, radical Hindu right-wing groups are reasonably protesting against its construction beforehand, claiming it would “disturb” the peace of the area.
The Friday protest, or the “mahapanchayat” against the construction of the Haj house was organised by several groups, including Hindu Shakti Sangathan, Samast Chetra Vaasi, Sampoorn Dehat and Federation of Dwarka. Fractions of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal also were active in the protest. Some says that BJP leader Kapil Mishra’s Hindu EcoSystem is also preparing the next course of action for the objectionable Haj House in the Hindu area.
Many residents of nearby villages such as Palam, Dhool Siras, Bharthal, Pochanpur and Bamnoli, as well as people living in DDA colonies in the area participated in the protest, held near the Cluster Bus Depot of Dwarka.
Why a Haj House in a Hindu area?
At around 10 am, Hindu people began to gather at Bharthal Chowk, chanting “Jai Shri Ram.” Within an hour, nearly a thousand had gathered. Some of the banners they held said, “Why a Haj house? Why not a school, a college or a hospital?”
Speakers at the gathering said that the construction of the Haj house would “translate into terrorism and Muslim domination” in the area. Some also objected to general taxpayers’ money being used to build a particular religious site. They also mentioned that Delhi Wakf Board had plenty of land to erect the Haj House in question in any Muslim area of Delhi.
There is a Haj Manzil near Turkman Gate in old Delhi, which is entrusted with helping Indian Haj pilgrims with submission of their documents, distribution of passports, camping arrangements, and other necessities, before the annual Haj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia every year. Though the said Haj Manzil in a dilapidated condition, that may be renovated appropriately or a haj house can be constructed there easily without disturbing anybody with a collaboration of Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board.
In the absence of a Haj house in Delhi, Haj pilgrims, along with their family members, are made to stay in transit camps that are built at the Ramlila Maidan and Dargah Faiz Ilahi every year well managed by Delhi Govt and Delhi Haj Committee, Delhi Wakf Board and other Muslim Organisations without any problem so far.
However, Mukhtar Ahmed, chairperson of the Delhi State Haj house, said that there is an acute shortage of space.
“People from Delhi as well as nearby states go for the Haj pilgrimage via Delhi, and we always have trouble in managing the crowds due to lack of space,” he said.
But the protesters who assembled in Dwarka are adamant to their points.
Vikash Jogi, president of Bharat Truck and Transportation Welfare Association in Delhi, lives in Najafgarh near Dwarka, also attended to protest.
He said, “They will have to kill us first if they want to construct this Haj house in our Hindu area.”
When asked why he was so opposed to the idea, he said, “It is unfair to the Hindu community, it is torture for us. If Muslims need a Haj House, why can’t it be constructed where they live, in places like Nizamuddin or Okhla?”
One of the organisers announced that the protest is completely “non-political” and that they have no hatred towards the Muslim community. “But a Haj house should not be made near our place of residence, where 99% of the population is Hindu,” he added.
On Thursday, a residents’ federation in Dwarka wrote to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, who is also chairperson of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), asking him to cancel the land allotment.
“There is strong apprehension that the brotherhood, harmony and peace in the society, apart from law and order will be disturbed, if the said Haj House is allowed to construct in Dwarka and further more there will be every possibility of riots, migration of Hindus and repetition of situation like Shaheen Bagh, Jafrabad and Kashmir,” B.P. Vaishnav, secretary of the All Dwarka Residents Federation wrote in the letter to Baijal.
‘Answer them with the same brick’
While Friday’s protest was on, Dharmendra Singh, a member of the Bajrang Dal, stood in a corner asking Hindus to “unite.” The Bajrang Dal is affiliated to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which, in turn, is linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).
“Hinduon, ekta dikhao…Ekta dikhao, Haj house rokne ke liye jo bhi karna pade, karo,” he said. (“Hindus, show unity, do whatever is needed to stop the new Haj house.”
When asked what he will do if the government does not stop the construction, Singh said, “Let them try and put even one brick here, we will answer them with the same brick.”
Dayanand, another Bajrang Dal member, said that the main problem was not with the construction of the Haj house, but the “intention behind it.”
Referring to Manish Sisodia’s statement on building a university on the disputed Ram temple spot in Ayodhya, Dayanand said, “What is the need for a Haj house? Why not make a university here? Or a hospital?” He added that this was an attempt by the Aam Aadmi Party to “appease” the Muslim community.
“Haj house is an excuse, they want to breed terrorists,” another protester shouted.
Another protestor Dharmendra Singh continued, “We Hindus cannot keep suffering. Slowly, demographics will change and Muslims will dominate the country. Besides, this place is close to the airport, so it is sensitive. If a Haj house is constructed here, terrorists will hide in it…”
The protestors were really ready to answer them with the same brick who would bring brick for the construction of the proposed Haj house by the Kejriwal Govt in Delhi.
Hindu Women also joined the protest
Geeta Nayak, among the handful of women at the protest, held a banner saying ‘Why a Haj house?’
While most people at the protest had come from nearby villages, she came from the DDA SFS flats in Dwarka. “All the people who live in the DDA flats are against the construction of this Haj house,” she said.
Her husband, Prakash Nayak, added, “Make a hospital, college, school, laboratory, anything but a Haj house. We don’t want to plant a tree that will later give us thorny fruits.”
When asked what this meant, he elaborated, “It will give birth to terrorism in our otherwise peaceful area.”
He then added quickly, “It is not about any religion.”
Besides “breeding terrorists,” said Nayak, the roads will see more traffic if a Haj house is constructed here. “What if Muslims capture this area and start protesting here, like they did in Shaheen Bagh? Even the administration was unable to clear it for many months…” he said.
A man, listening to Nayak’s words, jumped in. “It’s not just that. Do you not realize that almost Rs 100 crore of taxpayers’ money has been allocated for this Haj house? This is our money, not the Delhi government’s money,” he says.
Delhi Police Files FIR Against ‘Several’ Dwarka Haj House Protesters.
The Delhi Police on Friday registered an FIR against several people who were protesting against the construction of Haj House in Dwarka, for violating DDMA guidelines, officials said.
A senior police official said a case under appropriate sections of the law has been registered and further investigation is underway.
Addressing the protest in Dwarka’s Sector 22, Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta had said there are many plots in Delhi belonging to the Waqf board and a Haj House can be built there.
He asked why, if there was a shortage of schools, colleges and hospitals in the city, a Haj house is being built.
“The Haj House coming up in Sector 22 of Dwarka is totally against the wishes of the people,” Gupta said.
All Dwarka Residents’ Federation already wrote to Lt Governor Anil Baijal urging him to cancel the land allotted for construction of the Haj House in the Hindu majority area in Dwarka.
The area of Dwarka is still tensed after the protest running with the news of FIR against the people joined from Dwarka and adjacent places.
__Inputs from PTI | The Wire | NDTV | Agencies.
__Video & Pic Courtesy: The Wire.