In the wake of an uproar over the demolition of two mosques and a temple in the old Secretariat complex, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on Friday announced that the government will construct these in the new Secretariat premises at government expense.
He expressed ‘regret and pain over some inconvenience’ caused to the religious structures due to the demolition work at the old Secretariat complex.
He declared that in the new Secretariat premises, a new temple and mosque would be constructed on a more spacious spots.
“The government has begun to construct the new Secretariat complex by demolishing the old buildings. I came to know that while demolishing the multistoreyed old buildings, the temple and mosque adjacent to the old buildings were damaged due to debris falling on them. I feel sorry about the incident. It should not have happened. The government’s intention is to build a new complex by demolishing the old buildings without causing any damage to the temple or the mosque,” he said in a statement.
“We will construct a temple and a mosque in the new Secretariat premises in a more spacious way even if it means spending crores of rupees. We will construct the temple and mosque at government cost and hand them over to the people concerned. I will have a meeting with the temple and mosque managements very soon. After discussing with them, along with the new Secretariat, places of worship will also be constructed. This is my promise,” he added.
KCR, as Rao is popularly known, maintained that his government remained secular.
“Telangana is a secular state. We will continue to follow the secular spirit, come what may. This incident happened unexpectedly. Everyone should understand this properly without prejudice,” the CM said.
KCR’s statement came after Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi and several religious scholars and leaders of various Muslim organizations issued a joint statement to condemn the demolition of two mosques in the Secretariat premises and demanded their immediate reconstruction at the same spot.
They said the incident had shaken the confidence of Muslims in KCR, who have been projecting himself as a secular leader. The Muslim leaders also warned that if the government failed to take steps for early reconstruction of the mosques, the Muslims would be forced to launch a protest.