There are no differences between Bengalis and non-Bengalis and complete harmony prevailed in our area, said the East Bengal Displaced Persons Association, the apex RWA of Chittaranjan Park (CR Park) in South Delhi on Tuesday.
The association was reacting to the observations of the Delhi High Court that “the mere fact that CR Park is dominated by Bengalis, cannot justify the denial of an allotment of land, on equitable basis, to other communities”.
The reaction comes a day after the court dismissed the plea of three RWAs — of M, N, and P blocks — in the Bengali-dominated area, challenging land allotment to a Buddhist mission in their area.
The RWAs have decided to file a petition against the order.
Said P.K. Roy, the association’s secretary, “The allotment was challenged purely on technical grounds, contrary to the applicable rules and bylaws, and not on the basis of any religion or community such as Bengalis or non-Bengalis.”
“The RWA of blocks of M, N, P and Pocket-52, including the petitioners, consist of both Bengalis and non-Bengalis.”
Roy said demographically 40 per cent of the colony’s population comprises non-Bengalis.
“We are living in complete harmony. The main issue was that the land, which is subject matter of the writ petition, is the only open space available in the entire area. It is wrong to suggest that the petitioner RWAs want to keep the space exclusively for Durga Puja celebrations,” he said.
The court had said: “In a residential colony in an urban metropolis any attempt by the members of the dominant community of that colony to exclude members of any other community from access to public space and reserve such space to themselves must be frowned upon. Such a move will defeat the objective of a true integration of populations irrespective of their religious or linguistic denomination.”
Roy said the space in question is used for all social and religious functions of all communities, including this Buddhist mission, which was allotted this plot of land in 1995 by the Delhi Development Authority.
In page 3 of the 11 page judgment, Justice S. Muralidhar had referred to the view of the Land and Development Office (L & DO), a wing of the Urban Development Ministry, that “the area residents opposed allotment of the land to Buddhist Mission on the ground that majority of the residents surrounding the land are Bengalis and they want to retain this land as a permanent puja park as well as an open park to be used by children as playground”.
“Since the plot was meant for religious activities, it is not possible to create certain pockets/colonies exclusively on caste and religious basis.”
The court, however, said if the real concern was about not having space for social functions, then it was “open to them” to make a representation to the DDA and L&DO for permission to use any other open space, either in CR Park or its neighbourhood.