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Tripura: Govt to clear unauthorised religious structures

Process of demolition, relocation starts in compliance with a Supreme Court directive issued in 2009

Chandan Panday

Chandan Panday

Agartala: The Tripura government has started the process of removing government structures on government land in compliance with a Supreme Court order issued in 2009.

Following up on the order, the Tripura High Court is now looking after its implementation. Chief Justice Sanjay Karol will conduct a hearing on the matter soon, as per reports.

The government had issued notices to 48 religious bodies, including 20 temples, 26 mosques and two churches. Sonamura sub-divisional magistrate Saju Waheed has confirmed that about 15-16 religious structures have already been served notices.

The religious structures have been divided into two categories -- ones which were built over 30 years ago and those which are less than 30 years old. About 184 such structures were identified in Sonamura subdivision of Sipahijala district.

The implementation started after the chief justice of Tripura High Court directed the state government to file a report upon the implementation of the Supreme Court verdict given of 2009. The SC had directed all the states to free the government lands from the unauthorised religious structures.

As per west district additional district magistrate Tapan Kumar Das, although the SC had given a verdict in 2009 itself, the then Left front government had done certain amendments but nothing much could be implemented so far.

Opposition leader and MLA Shayamal Chakraborty has questioned the administration saying that notices issued to 12 mosques but to none of the Hindu religious structures.

The district magistrates have been asked to file an affidavit in the HC on December 19 on the implementation of the Supreme Court’s verdict.