The central dome of a 200-year-old mosque in the Indian capital Delhi came crashing down on Sunday due to heavy rainfall and lightning in the city.
The red sandstone Mubarak Begum mosque built by a courtesan in 1823 is among iconic heritage sites in the historic city of Old Delhi.
On Sunday, the flooding in the city killed two people leading to the collapse of many houses and trees.
At around 6.45 a.m. [0115GMT], the dome collapsed with a huge sound, said the mosque’s imam Mohammad Zahid.
“I was sleeping in my room inside the mosque when I heard thunder. We have since locked the mosque. But we continued offering namaz [prayer] and teaching in the open courtyard,” said 45-year-old Zahid, while speaking to Anadolu Agency.
He has been the muezzin and imam at the mosque since 2004. He revealed that the last repair at the historic mosque was done in 2016.
The imam said that since then, he had written several letters to the office of the Waqf Board a government institution that looks after all Islamic structure in the country to draw attention about deteriorating structure and to seek their help to repair the roof.
On Monday morning, Zahid applied at the Delhi Waqf Board office asking for restoring the damaged structure. He said that officers from the Board had visited the site to assess the damage.
The Waqf officials did not reply to Anadolu Agency’s queries regarding the issue.
However, Himal Akhtar, a member of the Waqf Board, told to local news paper, that conservation of the historic mosque was on their priority.
Situated in Old Delhi’s busy Chawri Bazaar locality, the mosque was built by Mubarak Begum, originally a Hindu courtesan from the western city of Pune, who came to Delhi and converted to Islam.