‘Action against illegal shrines to continue’
Though the civic body's drive against religious structures is ruffling many feathers, municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar on Wednesday made it clear that action will continue till he receives orders from the state government.
However, the ruling parties in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the Shiv Sena and the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), are not happy with the civic chief’s decision.
They are now planning to ask chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to intervene and stop the drive that was taken up by the civic body following a directive by the Supreme Court.
The civic body has issued notices to over 700 religious structures and demolished over 55, including temples, mosque and crosses. Many of them were built prior to April 17, 1964 — the cut-off date approved by the apex court. On March 3, the civic administration had issued a circular saying that caretakers of religious structures, built prior to April 17, 1964, should submit their documental evidence within 15 days.
The issue was also raised by corporators in Wednesday's general body meeting.
Replying to them, Kumar said, “I will convey the general body’s sentiment to the state government, but action will continue till further orders.”
He also clarified that maintaining law and order was the responsibility of the state home department, which had issued a government resolution about taking action against religious structures.
Political parties are now trying to save the shrines. Mayor Shraddha Jadhav said, “We (all party leaders in BMC) will meet the chief minister to get a stay on the ongoing action against shrines and to regularise all religious structures prior to December 2009."
BJP group leader Ashish Shelar insisted that the cut-off date approved by the apex court was an interim measure and hence the final needs to be decided.
Civic standing committee chairman Rahul Shewale demanded that the municipal commissioner seek legal opinion about the court order.