The Uttar Pradesh government has demolished 7 Islamic mazars around the holly Govardhan Parvat in Mathura. These shrines had come up illegally encroaching on protected land around the hillock. The Govardhan Parvat is a holly place for Hindus, which is also known as Giriraj, which is also known as Giriraj. Hindus from across the country come for doing a ‘parikrama’ of the hill.
In 2015, The National Green Tribunal had declared the entire Parikrama Marg around the hillock a no construction zone, and had ordered demolition of all illegal structures in the area. The NGT had also ordered the construction of a service road around the Parikrama Marg, and a Ring Road outside the service road. The NGT had noted in its order that “illegal construction activities/buildings erected next to Giriraj ji along the Parikrama Marg have blocked/obstructed the view to have darshan by the devotees”. Due to that, the tribunal had “recommended that such illegal construction between Parikrama Marg and Giriraj ji be demolished, so that the pilgrims can have a clear and unobstructed darshan/view of the scared Giriraj Govardhan”.
Further in June this year, the NGT had noted that its 2015 was yet to be implemented. The Tribunal had ordered demolition of all illegal constructions in the area, including temples constructed after 1980. NGT stated in another order in October that “UP and its authorities have been directed to respectfully shift the idols of the temples and place them in other legal temples that are beyond the 12 hectares of land, before removing the illegal constructions.”
The forest department of UP had identified 33 such structures to be demolished, including at least 20 temples. Later when a survey of the area was conducted before starting work on demolitions, additional illegal structures were identified, which included the 7 mazars around the hillock and near the Parikrama Marg. The demolition was conducted on November 12.