On March 12, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had issued an order to remove all illegal religious places that are blocking roads and pavements across the state. The work has begun in the direction where the district administration marks such illegal religious structures and submits a report to the government for further action.
This order has acted as a lucrative political gimmick for many leaders who are now trying to save the illegal structures. In an audio clip that has gone viral, ‘farmer leader’ Ashu Chaudhary can be heard lobbying for a majaar in Barabanki, UP to SDM claiming the structure is not on the main road.
The SDM can be heard slamming the farmer leader for trying to politicize the matter. SDM specifies that he has no right to interfere in the government’s administrative work.
The audio clip was shared by a popular BJP leader, Tajinder Bagga on Twitter.
SDM साब मौज कर दी 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/OCWihBROCH— Tajinder Pal Singh Bagga (@TajinderBagga) March 28, 2021
Ashu Chaudhary first tries to arrange for a meeting with the SDM, however, after the refusal by SDM citing training for panchayat elections, the farmer leader questions the SDM about the removal of majaar. The SDM then tells clearly to the so-called farmer leader that he should talk regarding issues related to farmers and not try to poke nose in issues that do not concern him.
The district administration has sent a list of religious places encroaching roads and pavements and notices have been issued to the ones marked for removal.
Speaking to Aaj Tak, SDM Divyanshu Patel clarified that the High Court has given 15 days’ time to the ones opposing the demolition to prove that the land on which the majaar is built, belongs to the Sunni Waqf Board.
Removal of Pakariya Majaar:
The first religious structure to be removed from the middle of the road was Pakariya majaar in Barabanki, district Fatehpur on March 14. Superintendent of Police Yamuna Prasad, Barabanki Police, had informed that the Pakariya majaar was removed only after taking locals in confidence.
थाना फतेहपुर क्षेत्रान्तर्गत कस्बा फतेहपुर में सड़क के बीचों-बीच स्थित पकड़िया मजार को विस्थापित किए जाने के सम्बन्ध में #barabankipolice अधीक्षक @IPSYAMUNA1 की बाइट~@Uppolice @adgzonelucknow @igrangeayodhya pic.twitter.com/C4CcemYUoa— Barabanki Police (@Barabankipolice) March 14, 2021
The illegal structures being removed will be shifted to the land offered by the followers of the respective religion or private land that is under the ownership of persons responsible for the management of that structure. The order states that the new location must be handed over to the community within six months.