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Minister comes to the aid of Bandra residents

Examine the Supreme Court directives issued last year regarding the razing of religious structures that hinder infrastructure projects, the state minister for minority affairs asked municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar on Tuesday. Prajakta Chavan reports.
By Prajakta Chavan | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 02, 2011 01:33 AM IST

Examine the Supreme Court directives issued last year regarding the razing of religious structures that hinder infrastructure projects, the state minister for minority affairs asked municipal commissioner Subodh Kumar on Tuesday.

On February 26, in accordance with the Supreme Court (SC) order, the municipal corporation had issued 53 demolition notices to religious structures.

Bandra residents claimed that the notices had been pasted on five religious structures on Chapel Road, and had protested.

A delegation from the Bombay Catholic Sabha, Association of Concerned Catholics, Wake up Bandra, Mumbai Gaothan Panchayat and Minority Commission has met Mohammad Arif Naseem Khan, state minister for minority affairs, to discuss the issue.

“It seems that the civic notices were pasted on the crosses, which is bad. I have told the municipal commissioner to ask the civic legal department to examine the recent SC order, until then no action should be taken on the religious structures,” said Khan.

“Moreover, as per the earlier SC order, religious structures prior to 1964 should be protected.”

“Our entire community has been disturbed with the civic notices being put on the crosses. Moreover, we were given only 48 hours to submit the relevant documents,” said Gordon D’Souza, president of the Bombay Catholic Sabha.

“We are happy with Khan’s cooperation. He has spoken to the authorities concerned and told them to extend the period of submitting legal documents to a month.”

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