Tension prevailed in Sardhar, a village 30 kilometre east of the city as two communities assembled following a dispute at a burial ground in the morning. However, police rushed to the spot and controlled the situation while revenue authorities decided to survey the disputed land to find a solution.
As one community started constructing compound wall around its burial ground, men from other community protested saying the compound wall would block a road. Soon, large groups from both communities assembled on Rajkot-Bhavngar Highway. But police and mamlatdar of Rajkot taluka, Pankaj Valvai reached the spot and brought the situation under control. To prevent any untoward incident, police were deployed in the village.
“The situation is totally under control. We have made bandobast (police deployment) in there and whatever matter is there of the burial ground, it will be solved by revenue officers. So far as law and order is concerned, it is under control,” assistant commissioner of police of Rajkot east, Banno Joshi told The Indian Express.
Revenue officers said there was a dispute between two communities over a road passing through the burial ground. “A road crossing the burial ground leads to a community hall of the other community.While Sunni Muslim Trust says there is no road through the burial ground, the other community claims the road has been there for a very long time. The entire matter of the existence of the burial ground is pending with Rajkot civil court. But to find a solution pending the disposal of the civil suite, we have decided to survey the disputed area on Monday with the help of district inspector of land records (DILR),” said mamlatdar Valvai.
The mamlatdar also held a meeting of leaders of the two communities and defuse tension and also sought their consensus for surveying the area with the help of DILR.
Sources said the construction of the compound wall had begun around five days ago. But tension built up on Sunday morning after the work started near the disputed road. While one community is claiming that the burial ground has been there for decades, the Sardhar village panchayat denies its existence pointing out to the fact there are no government records to that effect. Therefore, the community claiming stake in the burial ground has moved curt and sought regularisation of the area.
Sources also said that then BJP MP from Rajkot, Vallabh Kathiria had allocated Rs5 lakh grant to the community to build the compound wall round the burial ground a few years ago.