More and more shocking details keep coming out of the Tablighi Jamaat fiasco- a religious gathering of 8,000 Islamic preachers amidst the Coronavirus outbreak that has led to Coronavirus Super Spreaders reaching every corner of the country.
Now, as per recent reports it has come to light that the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) could be considering demolishing all but two floors of the Alami Markaz Banglewali Masjid- from where the Coronavirus outbreak picked up recently.
Deputy Chairman, Standing Committee of the SDMC Rajpal Singh has said that necessary paperwork is being carried out to demolish the illegal structure. He said that the Markaz has been constructed by joining two plots and only two floors were built with due permissions.
The entire Markaz except the two floors that were constructed after taking requisite approvals, is therefore illegal and bound to be demolished.
But then the issue is not that of floors being built without taking due permission, and the SDMC reportedly doesn’t even have any records of the Markaz ownership documents. The locals in the area have also complained of its illegitimate construction time and again, but neither the police nor the municipality took cognizance of the issue.
Moreover, the Tablighi Jamaat has not paid property tax or housing tax. Imagine that meeting and religious congregations of thousands were a regular affair at this building, but those in charge of the Markaz never even bothered to pay housing taxes.
The locals also say that they had complained right upto the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Lieutenant Governor, but no action was taken, and illegal construction continued unabated at the Markaz.
Even more shocking details have been revealed by those residing in the area for quite some time. They say that there used to be a small Madrassa on the concerned plot of land, which was demolished to create the Markaz- the global centre and India headquarters of the Tablighi Jamaat in the year 1992.
At that time, construction of 2 ½ floors was allowed in the name of Madrassa, but as we see it today a building of seven floors, along with two floors of basement has been constructed in gross violation of building norms in the national capital.
The construction is also said to be in violation of the ASI norms. Apparently, the ASI office is situated in vicinity of the Markaz, yet the Tablighi Jamaat was allowed to build the massive structure.
There are also allegations of encroachment as the Markaz has failed to submit ownership documents to the SDMC despite several requests by the latter. Municipality officials suspect that the Markaz has been constructed on illegally encroached land.
In fact, everything about the Markaz, which is currently sealed, is illegal. Even the fire safety norms have been flouted and the Tablighi authorities have not even procured a No Objection Certificate from the Fire Safety Department.
It is clear that on the face of it, the Markaz seems to be illegally constructed- from encroachment allegations due to lack of ownership records to gross violation of building norms to pending Property tax and violation of fire safety norms, everything seems illegal about the Markaz.
But the SDMC and other authorities never really took cognizance of the issue, even though the Markaz is situated right in the heart of the national capital. It took more than 4,000 confirmed Coronavirus cases, and a death toll in excess of 100 for the authorities to finally crack down upon the Markaz.
Now, as more and more shocking details keep coming out of the Tablighi Jamaat Markaz fiasco, Maulana Mohd. Saad Kandhalvi, the chief Maulana of the Markaz is still at large. In fact, he is waiting for this Markaz to “open” again before he would take the pain to reply to Delhi Police notice about the gathering that has engulfed in the entire country in a deep crisis.