The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) claimed Saturday that the Idgah ground belongs to the revenue department and not the Wakf board, after verifying documents on the contentious property at Chamarajpet in the city.
BBMP joint commissioner (west) SM Srinivasa held a press conference and said that the Wakf board failed to claim the rights of the land at survey No. 40 and under quasi-judicial powers, orders were passed stating that under section 149 of BBMP Act 2020, the civic agency cancelled its earlier order asking the board to apply for khata (a legal document), and stated that it was a revenue department property.
Srinivas said: “We issued notices to the Wakf board and gave 42 days to submit all the records to prove ownership but it failed to do so.”
The ownership of property number 147 measuring 2.5 acres was first challenged by Rakan-Ul-Mulk and Abdul Wajid in 1955. There was an injunction against the corporation to enter the land by the munsiff court and then the municipality filed appeals before the Supreme Court and the high court, but the Wakf board got a judgement in its favour. A gazette notification was also issued in favour of the board in 1965. But the board did not get the khata done and according to the rules, it had to be done within three years of the court verdict.
The recent controversy over the Idgah ground began with right-wing Hindutva outfits claiming that the ground was public property owned by the BBMP. However, the Wakf board claimed that it owned the land. BBMP chief commissioner Tushar Girinath later said that though the BBMP’s name was mentioned under the column ‘holders’, the khata showed that the civc body did not own the land and gave time to the Wakf board to get a khata done by providing supporting documents.
It did not go down well with Hindu outfits who also staged a protest and observed a bandh on July 12 in Chamarajpet.
Reacting to the statement of Srinivas, Wakf board chairman Shafi Saadi told the media that they have a strong legal team and records, and would fight against the revenue department. “It was a defeat for the BBMP but they are trying to bring in the revenue department for no reason,” he added.
Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) president S Bhaskaran said that they would march to the ground on August 15 with thousands of workers to celebrate Independence day. “The BBMP has deliberately delayed (the announcement) to prevent us from celebrating 75th independence day but we will not wait for their permission and will celebrate Independence day.”
General secretary of Chamarajpete Nagareekara Okkoota Vedike Rukmangada said that they would demand the authorities rename the ground after Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar, an erstwhile king of the Mysore royal family.