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Action against encroachment: 26 illegal mazars built on reserved forest land demolished by Uttarakhand govt

Notably, the chief minister had given top government employees specific instructions to conduct a special examination for illegal mazars, temples, and churches built on government property. As per reports, around 1400 illegally built religious structures have been identified in the process.

On Monday, in a major crackdown, the Uttarakhand government rolled bulldozers over illegal mazars which were built by encroachment on the reserved forest land. This is after Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami directed the state authorities to clear forest land of encroachment.

According to the reports, the government authorities demolished 26 mazars that were illegally constructed on the government’s forest land. The authorities conducted a survey and identified around 1400 religious structures built illegally on government land.

As per reports, some of the illegal mazars did not even contain any human remains.

The video of the incident is going viral over social media in which bulldozers can be seen rolling over a small mazar built in forest space. Several images of demolition have also gone viral showing the mazars being pulled down. The State Forest Department confirmed the development and stated that 7 mazars have been demolished in the Kalsi forest division, 6 in Ladpur, and 5 in the Raipur forest region.

Reports mention that some people of the Barelvi Muslim community are actively involved in encroaching government land and have been intentionally building mazars in forest areas, eventually erecting permanent structures and claiming a larger portion of the forest lands. These mazars are further believed to attract a lot of poor people from the Hindu community in the area along with the Muslims.

Notably, the chief minister had given top government employees specific instructions to conduct a special examination for illegal mazars, temples, and churches built on government property. 15 of the 17 illegal mazars have been razed in Dehradun alone, as per reports.

CM Dhami had also specifically noted that illegal mazars were being built on the government land and had said that any kind of land encroachment would not be tolerated. “The government will not tolerate encroachments of its land and action will be taken against these Mazars,” he had said.

In the current case, CFO of Yamuna Circle of Forest Department. Dr Vinay Bhargava said that the officials had got the survey done. “We have removed illegal structures built in the forest land. Any kind of encroachment will not be tolerated,” he said. He also added that as per the Supreme Court order dated 29 September 2009, no new religious place can be constructed on the state property without permission.

The SC bench in 2009 had directed that there shall be no fresh construction of places of worship at public places throughout the country. As per the order, the restriction would apply to temples, mosques, churches, gurudwaras, and places of worship of all other communities.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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