New Delhi: Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday accused BJP-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation of not taking prompt steps to stop construction of a mosque near Jama Masjid in central Delhi which led to violence in the area.
"The civic agency did not reacted the way it should have. The situation would not have deteriorated had they not allowed construction at the site," Dikshit said when asked about the issue.
Remains of a Mughal-era mosque, believed to be Akbarabadi Masjid, were discovered in Subhash Park near Jama Masjid recently during excavation by Delhi Metro for expansion of its network and locals led by MLA Shoib Iqbal had raised a structure over the remains defying orders.
The Chief Minister said Delhi government could not intervene as the land belonged to the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and law and order is with the Home Ministry.
"We could not intervene as land in area belonged to the municipal body and law and order is with the Home Ministry," Dikshit said.
Appealing residents of the area as well as parties concerned to exercise restraint and not to indulge in violence, Dikshit said it should be left to authorities to decide on the issue.
Violence had broken out in the area on Saturday evening after authorities refused locals permission to carry out construction. Ten policemen were also injured in the incident.
The protesters had pelted stones at vehicles, damaging two DTC buses and six cars, and burnt five motorcycles. Three cases have been registered against the protesters and two persons have already arrested.
The Delhi High Court on Friday had ordered stopping of construction of the mosque and directed the local civic authority to immediately hand over the site to the ASI to ascertain if there were any remains of Mughal era structure there.
The Chief Minister had had a meeting with Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar last week and asked him not to allow the situation to take communal colour.
Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna, presiding over a high-level meeting on Monday, directed police to strictly maintain law and order.


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