New Delhi: On Friday, CNN-IBN broke the story on the threat to Jama Masjid from builders.
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi's plans to dig dangerously close to the monument to build a four-storey basement mall and parking area will damage the very foundations of the historic mosque.
The MCD's redevelopment plan has people enraged.
A day after CNN-IBN broke the story on the threat to Jama Masjid from the Municipal Corporation of Delhi's re-development plan for the area, strong reactions poured in from religious leaders to even politicians.
"We are grateful to CNN-IBN for exposing this plan. We are dead against the project and have registered our complaints with the authorities. We will do everything required to stop this," said Vidhan Sabha's Deputy Speaker, Shoaib Iqbal.
The Rs 1,200 crores re-development plan includes digging a 60-feet deep basement just 30 meters away from the historic Jama Masjid.
Experts believe that vibrations from the digging could damage the Jama Masjid foundations permanently.
The basement, a four-storey structure will have 600 shops at the top level and a three tier parking area to accommodate 9000 vehicles.
The idea has appalled most.
"It is an atrocious plan. We srongly oppose it," stated Jamait-e-Islami member Mujtaba Farooq.
The MCD has not done the compulsory structural and heritage impact assessment done for the project. The plan besides damaging the mosque will also destroy five other mazhaars in the 25-acre area between Red fort and Jama Masjid.
"It is an insult to Islam," said Muslim Personal Law Board member, S Q R Ilyas.
"This is the Jama Masjid, this is no ordinary masjid," protested activist and writer, Sadia Dehlvi.
For now, the MCD would want to stay out of the controversy after having conceived the project as would the Imam. But it may be difficult for them to turn a blind eye to such mounting protests for long.