After fracas with Army, anger simmers among residents in Bengaluru

Locals pin hopes on court order for resolution of long-pending issue.

Published: 01st September 2017 09:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st September 2017 09:43 AM   |  A+A-

The path to the mosque was blocked by Army personnel near Dinnur Road | Pushkar V

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Anger is still simmering among residents of Modi Garden after the fracas with Army officials on Wednesday. Locals have decided to wait for the court order though there is a lot of discontentment among them.

Notice pasted on the door of a house
located next to the mosque | Pushkar V

The residents’ anger stems from the fact that Wednesday’s incident wasn’t the first instance of confrontation between the two parties. The impasse has been there for the past two years.
On Wednesday, residents of the locality had a face-off with personnel of the Parachute Regiment Training Centre (PRTC) after the latter blocked a pathway leading to a mosque on the disputed land by dumping heaps of mud. A verbal altercation soon escalated, and police had to resort to lathicharge against the locals. The path to the mosque was cleared on Wednesday evening.

About 30 families who live in a small pocket beside the PRTC land allege the PRTC officials have blocked the way to the main road from their locality, in violation of a court order.
H H Khan and his wife Rahmatunisa have been residents of the area for 45 years. They said the road was blocked after the attack on an Army camp in Uri, Jammu and Kashmir.
Khan said, “Earlier, the main road was half a kilometre away, but now we have to traverse 3km to reach it.”Mohammed Amir’s family has stayed in the area for five generations now. He said entry to a temple in the area, where about 200 marriages were conducted a year earlier, has also been blocked. “There haven’t been any marriages there in the past 15 years,” he said.

Another flashpoint between the two sides on Wednesday was the fact that three families staying in quarters beside the mosque -- those of the imam, the muezzin and the caretaker -- were served eviction notices by the Army though the case is pending in court since 2000. The notices are still pasted on the doors of their homes.Anwar Khan, secretary of the Trust that manages the mosque, said Army personnel had disconnected water and electricity supply to the mosque. Ward councillor Sampathraj said he has been involved in a dialogue with the PRTC personnel for seven years regarding these issues, but nothing has come out of it.

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