Mumbai's Haji Ali Mosque committee demands more security

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Mumbai, Mar 28 (ANI): Committee members of Mumbai's famous Haji Ali Mosque, have asked the Maharashtra Government to provide better security cover to counter terror threats.

The mosque's chairman and managing trustee, Sattar Merchant said that he had written a letter to State Home Minister R R Patil, and Mumbai Police Commissioner D. Sivanandan demanding greater security.

The State Government has also been requested to remove squatters and encroachers on pathways leading up to the mosque.

Merchant claimed that police deployed for mosque duty were inefficient.

"There are only three to four police personnel inside Haji Ali who sit at one place and don't even check the whole compound of the mosque. That is why we have our security guards who check the whole compound and the people who visit Haji Ali," claimed Merchant.

"But they, too, are stopped by the police personnel positioned inside the mosque. Also, police personnel check us and our belongings but not hawkers. So, we think this is not right," he added.

Merchant said till now no response has been forthcoming from both Patil and Sivanandan.

Situated at the end of a 500-meter-long causeway protruding into the Arabian Sea, the white mosque covers the tomb of Muslim saint Haji Ali.

According to belief, Haji Ali Shah Bukhari was a wealthy Muslim merchant who renounced all his worldly belongings before embarking on a pilgrimage to Mecca.

He died in Mecca, but his casket miraculously drifted and came to the spot where his tomb and the mosque were built in the early 1400s.(ANI)

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