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MP govt assures HC on maintaining peace at Bhojshala

Last Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 22:37

Indore: The Madhya Pradesh government on Thursday assured the Indore bench of the High Court that it has made adequate arrangements to maintain peace at Bhojshala in Dhar district on the occasion of Basant Panchmi festival.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by the Muslim Personal Law Board Member, Arif Masood, apprehending trouble at the disputed Bhojshala-Kamaal Moula Mosque site on February 14-15.

The division bench of Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Justice MC Garg disposed off the petition after getting assurance from the state government.

State`s Additional Advocate General Manoj Dwivedi brought to the notice of the bench the security arrangements made at Dhar for Basant Panchmi festival on Friday, the day Muslims offer Namaz at the ancient monument.

He also informed the court that the concerned officials were in touch with members of both the communities to defuse tension.

Masood had filed a PIL yesterday seeking directions from the court to the state government to ensure that the order issued by the Archaeological Survey of India, which takes care of the monument, permitting puja and namaz be followed in letter and spirit.

Meanwhile, Kashi Sumeru Peeth`s Shankracharya Swami Narendranand Saraswati today termed the decision of ASI to permit namaz on the occasion of Basant Panchmi festival as "unjustified".

Before heading to Dhar from Indore, the Shanracharya told reporters "the decision of ASI to conduct puja and namaz on the occasion of Basant Panchmi festival is totally unjustified."

He warned that if the state government tried to enforce the ASI order, it will have to face serious consequences.Madhya Pradesh Home Minister Uma Shankar Gupta also said today in Bhopal that the directives given by the Centre in this regard would be followed and both puja and namaz will be offered in the town as per the schedule given by the ASI.

Meanwhile, the situation in Dhar remained tense but under control with devotees celebrating Basant Panchmi from today itself as ASI permitted the majority community to perform puja from the sunrise to sunset.

The Dhar town has virtually turned into a fortress with over 5,000 policemen deployed to maintain peace.

The ASI has allowed Hindus to perform puja on February 14-15 in the Bhojshala premises, while Muslims can offer prayers on February 15 between 12 noon and 3.30 PM.

The ownership of the Bhojshala complex has long been a matter of dispute between the two communities.


First Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 22:36

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