THE DISPUTE over Karbala Maidan between two communities has been continuously keeping the entire administration on tenterhooks, but what is worrying is that there are 30 such potential flashpoints in Indore division, which are mired in dispute.
These festering sores could well spawn new law and order problems for the police all over the division. Some disputes are already in the public discourse and have been throwing up occasional law and order problems. However, fortunately, they have not gone out of hand as yet.
In Indore apart from Karbala Maidan, the Karavghat area is another area of dispute. Hindu organisations contend that the mosque there is built on encroached land, but Muslims hotly dispute it. Some Muslims families have also encroached on a half-buried Ganesh temple land.
Apart from these two high-profile spots, there is another dispute between the Waqf Board and a leader of a Hindu organisation in Larkana Nagar, adjoining Karbala. Some of the other disputed properties in which the two major communities are ranged against each other are at Safeb Masjid Jinsi (115, Subhash Marg), Kibrali Lines behind 15th Battalion (SAF), and Police Fire Brigade Land at Laxmi Bai Nagar. The last two are bones of contention between Muslims and the police, but they are no less explosive.
In neighbouring Dhar district, there are around 15 such disputed spots, the most visible and simmering being the Bhojshala. In Jhabua district there are two places one in Thandla and the other in Jhabua proper where Muslims and Hindus are face to face. In Khargone and Barwani there are three such spots each. Interestingly, Khandwa, which is one of the districts were communal tension has always been high, has no trouble spots.
Senior officials are well aware of the disputed areas and at a meeting held at the Divisional Commissioner’s office in Indore, all these spots were discussed threadbare. At that meeting, Commissioner Ashok Das had directed all the District Collectors to ensure a speedy disposal of all such cases through their urgent mediation. In case of court cases, the Collectors were told that they should be proactive and speed up the legal process.
Das said they were very concerned about the potentially ‘trouble making’ spots, and they were trying their best to solve the problems by talking to all the parties concerned. Asked if there was a time frame, he said that though there was no time frame, it was an ongoing process.
For example, he said, in Karavghat, the administration is talking to both sides and some of the Muslims who have encroached on temple land would be rehabilitated elsewhere.