A group of people have erected a makeshift Shiv temple on a piece of disputed land in South Joynagar area. Members of a local Kabarstan Suraksha Committee claimed that the land was being illegally grabbed and that they use it for burials. The temple was built Monday, on the eve of Shivratri.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Tahar Miah, secretary, South Joynagar Kabarstan Suraksha Committee, said one Pradip Das of the locality is building a temple on the land, which is registered in the name of one Abdul Ahad Miah of the area. Miah also said that Das had earlier appealed before three courts, including the High Court of Tripura, to prove the title suit of the land but each time his appeal was dismissed.
The Kabarstan Suraksha Committee has registered an FIR against Das with Arundhatinagar police station, charging him with land grabbing.
“We have asked police and administration to ensure that our burial spot is not affected. Its ownership otherwise has not been proven in the court of law. We want the land to be handed over to us,” Miah said.
Amtali Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Ajay Kumar Das said an illegal structure was found to have been built on a plot of land in South Joynagar area of Agartala city Monday morning.
“A person has claimed ownership of this plot but there is no document to prove it. The area supposedly used to be a burial spot. Some people set up a temporary structure with bamboo and clothes here, installed a deity and started worshipping there. This structure is illegal. We have deployed security personnel there to maintain law and order”, the police official said.
Earlier in 2017, the High Court of Tripura dismissed a petition by Pradip Das seeking ownership of the land.
In a petition challenging the verdict of the West Tripura Additional District Judge, who also turned down Das’s entitlement plea, Justice Subhashish Talapatra of the High Court of Tripura on November 11, 2017, said, “….this appeal does not have any merit and accordingly it is dismissed at this stage….”
However, Das claims that he owns six gandas of land that was illegally grabbed by some people who began burying the dead on the land some 25 years ago. Das, however, said he doesn’t have any mutation papers for land settlement. He also alleged burials were done on his land with support from erstwhile communist rulers.
“It is my land. I have donated a piece of my land to a social organisation to set up a Shiv temple. Forced burials were done here for almost 25 years. There is not a single minority family in our locality but CPI (M) leaders in the erstwhile Left regime supported the minorities in forcing burial ceremonies on us,” Das said.
Gopal Das, a local resident, said burial was not done “properly” in the burial ground. “The floods last year threw up bodies buried in the area. Dogs also dug up a few corpses, he said.
“There were so many bodies that we could barely live here due to the stench. Only Hindus live near this spot while minorities living far away come here to bury their dead even though they have a burial spot in their locality. The locals have now decided to set up a Shiv temple here,” he said.