The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Saturday said it will not allow the demolition of a Sant Ravidas gurdwara in Ludhiana that has been served a notice by Greater Ludhiana Area Development Authority (GLADA) for alleged encroachment.
Deputy Leader of Opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha Sarvjit Kaur Manuke visited the gurdwara at Jamalpur Awana and met its management committee members.
“Leader of Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema has written to Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh opposing this notice served to the gurdwara. He has demanded that CM should intervene, get GLADA notice quashed and get the matter resolved amicably. CM has asked the administration to look into the matter after our letter,” she claimed.
She added that unlike Delhi where Delhi Development Authority (DDA) razed Ravidas temple in Tuglaqabad, the AAP will not allow such thing to happen in Punjab.
Dalit community has warned of massive protest after GLADA served notice to the gurdwara in August this year. The notice (copy with The Indian Express) addressed to gurdwara committee president Manjit Singh has asked for “ownership proofs” for land measuring 9×4 kanal and further says that a chance is being given to the committee to prove their ownership before further action is taken by GLADA. It further says that notice is in continuation of earlier notice served on May 8 this year. GLADA has further mentioned that action is being taken as Punjab and Haryana Court had directed to remove all encroachments on GLADA owned land.
Manjit Singh said that the land was allotted to their ancestors for gurdwara after they migrated from Pakistan following the Partition. The total area of gurdwara is 17 kanals.
Meanwhile, Sonam Chaudhary, estate officer, GLADA said that it has been clarified to the gurdwara committee that notice served to them is for four shops and a gurdwara gate, which are clearly built on the land owned by GLADA. “We have not served them demolition notice yet but asked to prove the ownership of land where four shops and the gate owned by gurudwara are built. We have also issued notices to 70 other shops in the same market as they too are encroachments on GLADA land. If any portion will be demolished, a demolition notice will be issued first,” Chaudhary said.
Meanwhile, the shopkeepers of Jamalpur Awana also gave a memorandum to Manuke saying that they have been running the shops from past thirty years and if GLADA demolishes the shops now, their livelihoods will be lost.