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‘Resolve issue of damaged Muslim shrines’
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 08:17:30 AM, IANS
Gandhinagar: The Gujarat High Court Tuesday directed the state government to amicably resolve with the Islamic Relief Committee of Gujarat (IRCG) the issue of restoring religious places that were damaged or destroyed during the 2002 riots.
The IRCG had filed a petition before the high court seeking directions to the government to restore and repair the damaged religious places.
In the petition filed in 2003, IRCG had sought compensation on the grounds that the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has also recommended the same to the state government.
The matter came up Tuesday before a division bench headed by Chief justice S.J. Mukhopadhyay.
While the IRCG claimed that 295 mosques and dargahs were destroyed or damaged during the riots and the state didn't pay any compensation for their repair, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, who had contended in the last hearing that 64 religious structures were damaged, Tuesday said only 37 religious places were damaged or destroyed.
Trivedi contended that it was not the government's policy to restore such structures. Moreover since as it was a policy matter he could not decide.
Annoyed with the answer, the chief justice said, "File an affidavit in this regard and we'll pass the order right away. Sit together keeping all the grievances of the past aside and amicably solve the issue."
The chief justice said the government should move forward keeping the people of the state and their sentiments in mind. "Policies can be made in exceptional situations and exceptional cases that would keep the state together," he said.
The chief justice directed the advocate general to approach the ministers who have the powers to decide.
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