August 27, 2017 10:15:29 am
As many as 25 residential colonies, located in Vadodara’s Ajwa Road area, will soon be included under the ‘Disturbed Areas Act’, which prohibits the sale of property by a member of one religious community to another, unless approved by the district collector. The area, popularly known as the Panchvati area, is predominantly a Hindu neighbourhood. Based on a request made by BJP’s Vadodara city MLA Manisha Vakil, the state Home department has asked the revenue department to initiate the process.
MLA Vakil, in a letter dated July 4, had requested the state Home Department to begin the process of imposition of ‘Disturbed Areas Act’ in a part of her constituency to “maintain communal peace and order”. She told The Sunday Express that residents in the area are “afraid” that people from the other community will purchase their homes. “The residents came to me and demanded this. They said people from other communities were acquiring properties in the area and therefore feel apprehensive… Most of them are senior citizens who do not want to leave their old homes. They told us that those who are selling off their properties to the other community are being offered a huge sum of money,” Vakil said.
Vakil rejected suggestions that the government has decided to act on her proposal alone. “The Disturbed Areas Act cannot be implemented on the basis of my application alone. It was taken only after a police report. I did not say that they must implement it, I only suggested that. They (police) must have felt the need,” she said.
Vadodara police had recently conducted a survey and submitted a report to the Home Department, enlisting the demands of the residents. According to Police Commissioner Manoj Sashidhar, many Hindus in the area are apprehensive about Muslims acquiring the residential properties. “We have submitted a report to the Home Department. The next steps have to be taken by the Revenue Department,” he added.
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