Special Reports

PIL against mosque in Navi Mumbai

Navi Mumbai: Hindutva communalists are up in arms to prevent construction a mosque in an area with a Muslim population of around 30% according to a local resident reached by MG. Sumitra Kadu, a resident of the area, has filed a PIL saying the 1042.27 sqm plot in sector 50E, Nerul, was reserved for religious use before 2004 but Cidco handed over the plot to a Muslim trust for construction of a “mosque” - in other words only a Hindu temple could be “religious” in the eyes of the Hindutvites. The litigant lied saying that there was not even a single Muslim family within a radius of 1 km from the site and that only 331 Muslim families live beyond the one km radius. "If the mosque is allowed there is every possibility of encroachment on public open space in the locality by Muslim encroachers, which may badly affect the development of the city," the PIL claimed.

"This is a manifestation of clear intolerance of the society," the court said expressing its displeasure over the controversy related to the upcoming mosque in Nerul, Navi Mumbai. The petition was heard by a division bench of Justice F I Rebello and Justice J H Bhatia.  “So minorities cannot have their own place of worship? This intolerance has to go. Either we should live together or pack our bags and go,” the bench said.

Reema Dikshit, Cidco's chief social service officer, said in an affidavit that the Navi Mumbai police commissioner had given a no-objection certificate in February 2008 for the mosque's construction, and the urban development department too had approved it. But the police commissioner changed his stand and wrote to Cidco authorities on September 17, 2009, that local people were against the construction of a mosque and it could lead to a law and order problem. The PIL has been filed with an intention to create communal disharmony in the area, the affidavit said. Cidco informed the court that it was waiting for the state home department’s decision on the matter.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 April 2010 on page no. 17

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