Activists condemned the demolition of a big portion of the old "Shahi" mosque in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh, under the guise of enlarging a public road.
Interactors on social media have circulated a video clip capturing the demolition of bulldozers for a big portion of the mosque in recent hours, claiming that the matter is targeting Muslims and blaming the Hindu Bharatiya Janata government for the continuous targeting of Muslim homes and mosques.
In response, the city police said - in a statement - that the Public Works Department is conducting expansion works for the main road in the Handia area in the city of Prayagraj, and that the presence of the mosque - which was built about 5 centuries ago - in its current location hinders this expansion.
In its statement, the police confirmed that the mosque had already been demolished on January 9, after talks between officials of the Public Works Department and members of the committee representing the mosque.
The mosque's position is a hindrance to the Public Works Department's extension work on the major road in the Handia neighborhood of Prayagraj City, according to the police.
Local media reported that the mosque, which has been standing since the 16th century, was demolished a few days before the civil court was due to hear the matter on Monday, after the Supreme Court earlier rejected a petition against the plans to demolish it.
The Uttar Pradesh government claimed that the mosque was built by encroaching on government land, while officials from the mosque said that the government's claim is false because their mosque has existed for a long time, according to media sources.
Fond of demolishing Islamic monuments
Attacks on mosques in India have escalated since the Bharatiya Janata Party took power (communication sites)
Criticism and Rage
And the pioneers of social networking sites expressed their anger at the demolition, and writer Sangeeta said, "This government is amazing in destruction, and it can build nothing but hatred. They will break and destroy everything."
Activist Shahavaj Anjum tweeted, "From Bihar to Assam, from Bengal to Uttarakhand, in every state from Kashmir to Karnataka, the government is bulldozing Muslim homes, shops and mosques."
The interaction was not limited to Indian Muslims, as Arab and Muslim activists shared pictures and video clips documenting the demolition, expressing their grief over the situation of Muslims in India.
Muhammad Haider said, "Muslim mosques in India are being demolished and Hindu temples are being built in Arab countries (...) Islam is not a pilgrimage, prayer, or zakat. Islam is behavior and belonging to Muslims and Islam."
He wrote "Built about 5 centuries ago... A mosque was demolished in India under the pretext of widening a public road! Muslim mosques in India are being demolished and Hindu temples are being built in Arab countries. Congratulations on your Islam, you hypocrites. Islam is neither Hajj nor prayer nor Zakat Islam is behavior and belonging to Muslims and Islam"