Navi Mumbai police's intervention on Monday prevented a novel protest by the Muslims of Kopar Khairane in Navi Mumbai.
The irate community which has for years been asking for a burial ground in the node from CIDCO, had planned to take a dead body to CIDCO office to register their protest at being denied one.
Following the death of one Munna Shaikh (35), the community which had threatened to take a corpse to CIDCO office for the past several years, decided to actually do it this time.
Said Afaque Khan, president of Anjuman Khairul Islam Trust, "The population of Muslims in Kopar Khairane is fast approaching 15,000, yet there is no burial ground here. We have repeatedly appealed to CIDCO, however, there have only been hollow assurances, nothing more. Now we have no option but to take our dead to the CIDCO office."
Muslim residents of the node now have to take their deceased to Kopri village burial ground which is at quite a distance. Said Afaque, "We have to take the dead on our shoulders. It is simply not possible to take them over 6 kms in this manner. People then have to use ambulances or other vehicles and it adds up to a lot of cost and pain."
CIDCO in the past has promised land to the community only to back off later. Said Umer Jamadar, a social worker, "When we had planned a similar morcha last year, CIDCO had in a letter confirmed that a plot measuring 2600 sqm next to Jama Masjid of Kopar Khairane was being allotted to the Trust, which it would have to share with a Bohri community trust of Vashi. When the plot was actually measured it turned out to be just 1200 sqm, meaning only 600 sqm land was being given. Now, CIDCO says even that land is not available."
As the police got information of the protest, Police Inspector VD Sonawane and PSI A Jagdale along with other police officials rushed to placate the community members. The local corporator Shivram Patil, too, arrived at the mosque.
The police officials then promised to hold a meeting of the community members with CIDCO officials in the presence of DCP Amar Jadhav to sort out the issue.
The community members then agreed to change their plan and the deceased was buried in Kopri village burial ground.