Hyderabad, June 27: Former Leader of Opposition in Council and Congress senior leader Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Thursday demanded that the Telangana Government ensure that no damage is done to old places of worship in the Secretariat premises.
“Since you took a unilateral decision on the construction of new building for Secretariat without involving other opposition parties or groups, we have no clue on the design, structure or any other details of the proposed buildings. Going by the reports published in a section of media, we are given to understand that all the buildings in the present Secretariat premises would be razed to ground to construct a new complex. The Secretariat premises houses three places of worship – Two Mosques and a Temple. There are reports that the State Government has given its nod for the demolition of these three places of worship to facilitate construction of new Secretariat building. Therefore, we request you to kindly issue a clarification in this regard. Necessary instructions should be given to ensure that the existing places of worship in the Secretariat premises are not demolished or harmed in any manner,” Shabbir Ali said in an Open Letter to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao.
Shabbir Ali said that it was quite disheartening and disappointing that the State Government was going ahead with the construction of new buildings for the Secretariat and Assembly despite the move being opposed by all opposition parties and entire civil society. “While the Congress party is not opposed to the idea of having a modern Secretariat and Assembly, it is against the timing of construction. In a situation when the State Government is unable to implement the new PRC for employees, give them appropriate Interim Relief, clear Fee Reimbursement and Scholarship dues, upgrade public hospitals or improve civic amenities for want of funds, it is highly inappropriate to construct new Secretariat and Assembly buildings by spending more than Rs. 500 crore,” he said.
The Congress leader reminded the Chief Minister about Ek Khana Masjid, the 200-year-old mosque in Amberpet which was demolished by the GHMC for road expansion. “Since your government is already on the path of hurting religious sentiments by demolishing places of worship at various places in the Telangana State, we request you to take all necessary precautions to protect the existing two mosques and a temple in the Secretariat premises,” he demanded.
Shabbir Ali urged CM KCR to issue necessary instructions to the officials concerned to ensure that two mosques and a temple in the Secretariat remain untouched even if other structures are razed to construct new ones.