The mosque constructed without permission from Port Trust is also operating a unauthorised COVID19 clinic. Residents who complained against the mosque are being threatened by the mosque authorities.
The mosque constructed without permission from Port Trust is also operating a unauthorised COVID19 clinic
A mosque and an unapproved exclusive clinic for Muslims to treat Covid-19 cases in northern Chennai’s thickly populated Royapuram area, considered a Corona hotspot, has created panic among the residents living here. Tamil Nadu is still wintessing spread of Corona and increasing fatalities. On June 28th, 3940 people tested positive and the total count reached 82,275. In Chennai alone 1,992 people have tested positive with a fatality of 1079.
Royapuram in North Chennai is one of the worst hit areas from corona pandemic. Residents of this area are already in a state of panic and fear but now they have a new concern to worry about. In Chennai's Royapuram Tank street where Hindus are a majority, the Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat Trust bought a piece of vacant land couple of years ago. Hindu Munnani functionaries in the area informed Organiser that without obtaining any building approval from the Chennai Corporation, they have started construction of a mosque.
Despite objection from the locals, they continued with the construction work which extended upto the compound wall of the Chennai harbour. The highly secure and strategically important harbour and the mosque is separated by a wall. Any construction in the restricted and highly sensitive area has to be approved by the Chennai Port Trust. But they have not yet secured any such permission from the Port Trust. Further, it has come to notice that the Muslim had encroached upon the street by placing tiles that set off a fresh round of clashes between Hindus and Muslims in the area. The public road which was tiled was treated as a exclusive path to reach the Mosque by the Muslims here.
Hindu Munnani functionaries say that Chennai Corporation authorities did not take any action when the illegal construction was brought to their attention. A RTI query obtained under the RTI act, revealed that the mosque is registered as a 'convention hall' but a mosque has been built illegally. The purported letter of approval from the Chennai corporation which the Mosque authorities showed to the residents does not mention the street or the exact location. The local residents withdrew from the legal battle due to pressure and threats from the mosque management and Muslim organisations. The illegal mosque has been functioning from the past six months.
Unapproved COVID19 clinic
The letter shown by the Mosque authorities as permission for Clinic is in the name of a different clinic
Few weeks ago, residents of the area noticed suspicious movements of cars, ambulances belonging to a Islamic organisation. The residents say, “We have also noticed presence of goons at the entrance of the mosque. On suspicion some of us entered the mosque on some pretext and found Corona patients are being treated there. It was functioning illegally and without proper protection measures. Patients came out freely and were found roaming in the streets and buying at shops without protective gears like masks, etc. When we complained to the police, they showed a letter from Corporation authorizing them to treat Covid-19 patients”.
Explaining further, the residents say the approval letter dated 18th June is fake. The so-called letter does not mention the mosque's name, the street or the exact location. Instead, the letter was addressed to one Mufaddal Polyclinic Trust, 4/7 South Mada Street, Royapuram, Chennai 600013.
The illegal clinic where quacks are working on Covid-19 patients, has become a cause of concern to the residents. "We have complained again to the Corporation and police. One Ali Askar Barodawal, who is the prime person, threatened us to withdraw our complaints and keep quiet. He told us that the mosque administration has given 70 lakhs to a ruling party bigwig who had assured that he would stand behind them. He also told us that they can build a mosque wherever they want”.
The residents of the area have written a letter two days ago to the police saying thousands of families are living there. “Our Royapuram has the distinction of highest number of Corona patients in Tamil Nadu. In our locality at 10/30 Tank Street, over 30 families are residing in a multi storied building. Next to the apartment is a Bohra Muslim’s mosque. All their members assemble here for Namaz and other rituals. It has come to our notice that one apartment secretary Ali Baroda has converted the mosque into a Corona treatment ward without due permission from authorities and without any safeguards. Our area is highly congested one. We are afraid we may get affected by the illegal clinic. We request you take appropriate action”, says the residents letter.
Mosque authority threatens residents
Complaint letter by residents to the corportation to act against the Mosque
Another resident J Dinesh in his complaint on 12th June to Corporation Zonal head wrote, “I and my father have been living in this area over for 30 years. South India Flour Mill was functioning in our area which was closed due to some reason and it was sold to some Muslims. When we started using the Thandavamurthy Road, people from Mosque objected. When we questioned, Ali and Kuthoose Bhai told that they have bought it from the Corporation. We have contact at all places and nothing can be done against us. He threatened us with dire consequences if we proceed further with our protests. They have encroached public place for their use and for their apartments. They also have dug unauthorised bore-wells”.
On 12th June, assistant engineer of Chennai corporation wrote to Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat Trust saying they have received complaints from public. He urged them to remove the debris and other construction material on the public property within three days from the date of receipt of this letter, failing which, appropriate action would initiated against them, it warned.
Hindu Munnani sources at the spot said intelligence officials visited the mosque two days ago after their complaint. The Mosque authorities showed them the same fake letter purported to be given by the Corporation. When they verified the same with the Chennai Corporation, they found it to be fake. Locals insist that, "If the Muslims have the audacity to behave like this within six months of the construction of the mosque, what Chennai port would face in future is a major concern. We request both police and Port Trust security personnel to act immediately before it goes out of their hands”, they say.