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Demand for Muslim graveyard in Margao remains buried in files

Saturday, May 29, 2010 01:04:34 PM, Mohammad Naushad Khan

Decade-long demand for an appropriate burial ground in Margao by the Muslim community remains unnoticed by the concerned authorities leaving Muslims of the area running from pillar to post without any result. Muslims had been demanding an alternate land for burial ground as the existing one atop the Pajifond hillock is not adequate and has reached a saturation point.

The present burial ground was donated by a Muslim family nearly 120 years ago when it was considered sufficient for the community’s needs but now it has become insufficient with increased population over the years. Pajifond Hill Kabrastan which is spread over 17000 square meters was donated to the community by a Muslim family way back in 1887. The burial ground is now owned and managed by the patrons of the Jamia Masjid. What is important to note is that most of the burial grounds in India come under the responsibility of the local government. But its response has left the local Muslims to feel that the authorities concerned are dilly-dallying on the issue of an alternate burial ground.

The Muslim community of the area has sent several representations to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Minorities and also to the state chief secretary and local administration. The National Commission for Minorities (NCM) is determined to pursue the kabrastan issue of Margao to its logical conclusion, but is helpless with no powers at its disposal to pressurise the government to accede to its demand on behalf of the Margao Muslim community for an alternate burial ground in the area.

However, Shafi Qureshi, chairman of National Commission for Minorities, had earlier written to Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat urging him to ensure implementation of the resolution no. 26 moved by you on July 16, 1999 by Kamat himself in his capacity as an MLA and passed by the house unanimously under the leadership of Luizinho Faliero, the then CM of Goa. Madrasa Raza-e-Mustafa, a Navelim-based trust, in a letter to the chairman of the NHRC on 22 March 2010 had sought its intervention over the issue.

The Commission has taken serious note of the repeated failures by the Goa government to reply to its correspondence since July 2007. In fact, the Commission’s Joint secretary S K Swami, in a letter to the Goa Chief Secretary drew his attention to the fact that the Commission has received no reply from the state government despite a considerable lapse of time since July 2009. General Secretary of the of Masjide-Gaousiya Abdul Matin Daud Carol had complained to the NCM that Vikram Dev Dutt, district collector South, has deliberately omitted the details of the Goa Assembly resolution dated July 16, 1999.

The NCM after taking serious note of the failure of the government in replying to its letters and reminders had summoned chief secretary S K Srivastava to appear before it in New Delhi on 22 April to explain the state’s position on the matter. Abdul Matin Daud Carol, general secretary of Masjide-Gaousiya, was also directed by the NCM to appear before it for the hearing round. But the hearing has been postponed by a month as Mr Abdul Matin informed MG.


(Courtesy: The Milli Gazette)




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