Daijiworld Media Network - Udupi (MS/HB)
Udupi, Apr 19: A mosque, which is said to be built on the land where a Jain Basadi existed earlier at Kodavoor village, has created controversy. Locals accuse that this is done illegally by the revenue department officials.
The locals accuse that this land, on which a Jain Basadi existed earlier, has turned into Kalmath Masjid due to the encroachment done by the Muslim community. Some strangers, who have come from outstation places, have built an illegal structure, neglecting the opposition of the local villagers on this government land. There is Panchadhoomavati Daivasthana just by the side of this building. Friction is going on between both communities for decades over this issue. For the same reason, a police vehicle can be seen stationed near the structure permanently. Though there are three houses of Muslims in Kodavoor, they do not visit this illegal structure. People who have migrated from other parts of the country are responsible for disturbing the harmony of Kodavoor, locals said. The villagers have been fighting against this for decades. This issue is in the inquiry stage in local court as well as Wakf court of Mysuru. It is accused that even before the verdict is out on the issue, 67 cents of the controversial land is transferred to the administrative committee of Kalmath Masjid under certain pressure.
The building which is built illegally does not have a door number also. People who have built this structure had presented a board certificate in the court saying that the disputed land is with them since the time of kings of olden times. However, the court had quashed their argument saying that the certificate presented is fake. The villagers are enraged as the disputed land, along with the land that belonged to Daivasthana, is transferred in the name of the mosque. Earlier, when some local agriculturists had approached the revenue department for the Kumki rights of the same land, they were told that Kumki rights are not given in the city area. But now, the land is given all of a sudden to a private company. This has caused suspicion in the minds of the villagers.
Kodavoor villagers have resorted to alerting the people representatives in addition to legal battle on the issue. Day by day the situation in the area is becoming tense. The locals are accusing the former deputy commissioner (DC) and tahsildar of jointly doing the illegal act. The current DC has written a letter to the superiors to cancel the notification and correct the mistake.
In their defence, Usman Saheb, president of the Kalmath administrative committee said, "This building was built during the time of Tipu Sultan. From 1908, the government was giving Tasdeeq. Even now the Tasdeeq is given once in four months. This building is recognised by the government also. This mosque was closed for some years. In 1993, the land was surveyed and survey number 53/6 is given to this 67-cent land.
"Many times, the committee had filed petition against the mosque in the court. But the court has quashed all petitions. The petition which is filed at Mysuru against the registration of the building is under discussion now. In the midst of this, though the Dhoomavathi protest committee raised IA (Interlocutory Application) saying that this issue belongs to the revenue department and should be decided in the court of DC and not in the Wakf court, it did not materialize.
"Application for RTC was filed through Wakf board through assistant commissioner (AC) and tahsildar. In 2017, land verification was done and the AC signed the same and sent it to the DC. In 2018, this was sent to Wakf ministry as this property is that of Wakf for gazette notification. In 2020, gazette notification on the land was taken out. In January 2021, this land that belonged to the government was transferred to the mosque. We also got the RTC.
"Locals are giving various reasons and preventing people from holding namaz in the mosque. In addition, the protest committee has also threatened to demolish the structure. This is a conspiracy to shut the mosque. Namaz is being offered in this mosque for the last 40 years. Hindu devotees are holding their religious programmes within the 67 cents of land. We do not obstruct them. The Hindu committee should not obstruct our people from offering prayers. We have informed the police department also in the wake of maintaining law and order."
Local municipal councillor Vijay Kodavoor clarified the subject and said, "None of the local Muslims offer namaz in the mosque that is constructed on the disputed land. Certain Muslims arrive from faraway places to offer namaz. It can be clearly observed that there was Jain Basadi on this land earlier. Pushkarini wells can also be seen. The government land which did not have any RTC since so many years is given in favour of the administrative committee of mosque. This is illegal. The land should be returned to the government. If this issue is not set right, we will resort to fierce protest."
DC G Jagadeesha said, "The issue has come to my notice. This land does not belong to Wakf. That is why, from the district administration, we have written to the government to denotify the land. Now it is under process."
The concerned department should arrive at a conclusion on this issue before it disturbs the communal harmony, say the locals.