Lucknow Municipal Corporation’s (LMC) plan to construct a giant statue of Lord Lakshman in a park near the city’s famous Teele Wali Masjid has rankled Muslim clerics, Times of India has reported.
The plan was proposed by a corporator from the city’s Gomtinagar area in LMC’s executive committee meeting a few days ago. It was approved by the committee on the grounds that the place was earlier called ‘Lakshman Teela’ and that Lucknow’s old name Lakhanpuri was derived from Lakshman.
“The Masjid was actually built on Lakshman Teela by demolishing a temple. If an excavation is carried out at the site like the one at Ayodhya, remnants of a Hindu temple can be found,” former Lucknow Member of Parliament and senior BJP leader Lalji Tandon has said in his book Ankaha Lucknow.
However, according to Muslims, the mosque was built on the orders of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb when he visited the city.
Muslim clerics have opposed the plan, warning it may lead to clashes. The clerics have said that the park where the statue of Lord Lakshman is likely to come up and the roads around it are used by the Muslims to offer prayers.
“We don’t object to the construction of Lakshmanji or Ramji’s the statue anywhere but a statue in that small park outside Teele Wali Masjid may become a hindrance to the big namaz gatherings we have during which the crowd offers namaz on the road and in the park. This might lead to possibilities of a clash. I have spoken to the mayor and she said talks were on and that we will be informed about whatever the decision is,” said Imam of Teele Wali Masjid Maulana Syed Fazlul Mannan Rahmani.
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