Local corporators belonging to the ruling Shiv Sena-BJP combine along with
other right-wing Hindu organisations are opposing an in-situ
rehabilitation of a mosque and madrasa near the under-construction
rail over-bridge over the Milan Subway.
“We have been told that the
Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Metropolitan
Region Development Authority (MMRDA) have given a No-Objection
Certificate (NOC) to construct the new mosque and madrasa between
pillars no 11 and 12,” said Chandrakant Pawar, corporator from
Vile Parle (East).
“The municipal commissioner has
misused his discretionary powers for the in-situ rehabilitation”,
“Since there is no action by the
civic chief on our protest letters sent in February and March, we
are forced to start an agitation,” said Pawar in a meeting
organised by Hindu Janjagaran Samiti, Hindu Rashtra Sena, BJP and
Sena couple of days before.
Senior BJP leader Parag Alavani also
criticised the in-situ rehabilitation decision.
“We are not against any particular
mosque or madrasa. If the shops and residences have been shifted
elsewhere, what was the need to give in-situ rehabilitation to the
mosque? The Supreme Court has issued clear guidelines not to
protect any religious shrines if they come in the alignment of any
public project,” said Alavani.
The local MLA, Krishna Hegde,
hwoever, rubbished Pawar’s claims.
“The mosque and madrasa is in existence since the 1970s and it was
registered in 1983. But some local politicians are trying to
mislead the people to disrupt communal harmony”, he said.
“Member of Parliament Priya Dutt and
I have taken a lot of effort for the rehabilitation of the
project-affected people of Milan rail over-bridge. Now the
opposition parties are making an issue out of it,” he added.