Meanwhile, during the protest rally, members from the outfits raised slogans. (Express file)

Nearly 2,000 people belonging to various Hindu outfits assembled at a rally in Aarey Ram Mandir at Marol in Andheri (East) to protest against the proposed allotment of land by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for a burial ground for Muslims, adjoining the outer boundary wall of the temple. The rally was called by the Sakal Hindu Samaj (SHS), an umbrella organisation of several Hindu outfits, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal. This is the second rally that was called by the SHS in Mumbai in the past one month.

The protesters claimed that the vacant land parcel was originally reserved for setting up an hospital and during the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government the reservation was changed. Civic officials, however, refrained from saying anything on record. A civic official said, “There is a stay on that particular land. After the reservation for burial ground was made, a petition was filed by one of the Hindu outfits to de-reserve the plot. Meanwhile, another plea was filed by a Muslim outfit challenging the first petition. Therefore, the Bombay HC has put a stay on it and the decision is expected to come by February 17 this month.”

“However, we have taken note of their complaint but we can’t do anything unless the stay is removed by the court. Also, one needs to note that till now no burial has taken place in this plot till today,” the official said.

“The temple is more than 40 years old and the sentiments of locals are associated with it. We are insisting the BMC and state government to change the status of reservation of this plot back to its original status of setting up an hospital,” said Shriraj Nair, spokesperson of VHP and a senior member of SHS. The SHS has given a letter to the BMC in this regard and have demanded that the issue be resolved before the civic elections.
This story was originally published in . Read the full story here