SRINAGAR: With the BJP now part of the coalition government in Jammu and Kashmir, the saffron parties are allegedly attempting to convert a burial ground belonging to Muslim community in Jammu province into a wrestling arena for staging a ‘dangal’(wrestling match) scheduled for July 3.
According to Muslim residents of Bagh Jogian village of Bishnah area in Jammu district, saffron organisations like the Shiv Sena backed by the BJP have been mobilising people to convert a portion of the 150-year-old burial ground into a wrestling arena. The burial ground spread across 25 kanal, 13 marlas of land, they said, belongs to Auqaf Islamia and has been notified under SRO.
The10 Muslim families presently living in the area say the burial ground belongs to them. And they said in the past, the dangal used to be organised jointly by Hindu and Muslim communities.
“It used to be held somewhere else and not on the burial ground,” the families said. Further, it was alleged that with the BJP now jointly in power in the state, the saffron parties are hellbent on staging the dangal at the burial ground on Friday.
“In fact on Sunday, about 100 tippers dumped soil in the burial ground for levelling it for conducting the dangal. This is a clear interference in our religious affairs,” the Muslims alleged. It was also alleged that under the garb of organising the dangal, the saffron parties wanted to encroach on the burial ground land.
Tensions, they said, were rising in the area and warned that if the state government failed to take corrective measures some untoward incident might take place. “We had to seek police protection to take up the repair works following threats from the saffron parties,” the families said.
One of the Muslim residents, who pleaded anonymity fearing reprisal, said they had held meetings with the administration and police officials but they proved fruitless.
Divisional Commissioner, Jammu, Pawan Kotwal told Express over phone from Jammu that there was a court stay on the graveyard issue and that they were seeking legal opinion.He said there might be some issue due to which the case had been taken to court.
“We are trying to get the revenue records of the last 110 years to ascertain the claim of the community whether the land indeed belongs to them or not,” the DC said.
Moreover, the land records will make it clear whether it is disputed land or somebody owns it, Kotwal said, adding, the claims of both the parties had to be looked into. He, however, said if the land were being used for religious purposes, then their sentiments were genuine and the dangal should not be staged there.
“We are looking into the issue and I have also directed Deputy Commissioner, Jammu, to hold talks with both the communities,” added Kotwal. Meanwhile, hard-line separatist leader Syed Ali Geelani cautioned that if anti-Muslim activities in Jammu division were not stopped, an extremely dangerous situation would emerge in the Valley.
“The communal forces have practically separated Jammu division from Kashmir and on the directions of Nagpur, RSS headquarters, Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed has surrendered all affairs of Jammu division,” Geelani said.