Hindustan Times ST (Jaipur)

Bukhari seeks PM’S help to repair Jama Masjid

- Sadia Akhtar

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, on Sunday, urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the Archaeolog­ical Survey of India (ASI) to inspect the monument and carry out necessary repairs. He wrote to the PM two days after a minaret of the 17th-century mosque was damaged on Friday following strong winds and rain that struck the city during evening hours.

“The structure of the internatio­nally renowned Jama Masjid in Delhi is in dire need of repairs….many stones of the building are in a state of dilapidati­on and often keep falling off. Yesterday also, some stones fell down from the minaret but a major mishap was averted as the mosque is closed to the general worshipper­s due to the lockdown these days,” Bukhari said in his letter to PM Modi.

Built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan, the mosque was constructe­d in 1656 and is not an Asi-protected monument.

The responsibi­lity of the mosque’s maintenanc­e rests with the Delhi Waqf Board. A sudden thundersto­rm and rain showers accompanie­d by strong winds travelling at 60 kms per hour lashed the city on Friday, following which, a slab of red sandstone from the minaret came crashing down and pierced the floor beneath, also damaging the mosque’s courtyard. Due to restrictio­ns to contain the pandemic, the mosque is closed to visitors and no one was injured.

Speaking to HT, Bukhari said conservati­on work of the minarets has not been undertaken in nearly 50 years. He said it was crucial for experts to inspect the mosque for repairs.

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