Karnataka Government Obtains Jain Basadi Land Granted To Waqf Board Following Public Furore Over Illegal 'Mosque' On The Site

·4-min read

Those representing the illegal structure have been claiming it is a mosque of the Tippu era, but there is enough evidence to prove that there once stood a Jain Basadi, says Udupi MLA Raghupati Bhat.

In a victory of sorts, locals in Kodavoor village in Udupi Taluk of Karnataka have managed to reverse an order that had 'granted' land where once stood a Jain Basadi to the waqf board. Through a government notification issued on 22 June 2021, the Department of Revenue has denotified the grant of land to the Waqf board and taken the same under its own administration.

Udupi MLA Raghupati Bhat, who had appealed to the Minister for Revenue R Ashok, whose department was accused of 'illegally' transferring the 'disputed land' to the Waqf board, said this was a victory of the people and, more importantly, against false propaganda.

Illegal structure claimed to be "Kalmath Masjid"
Illegal structure claimed to be "Kalmath Masjid"

" While it was passed after our government came to power, it was based on the report of the earlier Deputy Commissioner Priyanka Mary, who sent a report that gave away not the portion where an illegal structure stands but the entire 67 cents which also has a Jumadi/Dhoomavathi Daivasthana as belonging to the mosque. The present DC had clarified that the land doesn't belong to the Waqf and sought its denotification. On behalf of people, I had appealed to our Revenue Minister who has successfully been able to reverse the wrongdoing," explained Bhat.

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"Karnataka Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has done a terrible conspiracy with the Digambar Jain community. The entire Digambar Jain Samaj strongly condemns it. Do watch this video and send it to your friends. Join us in the fight".

Thus read a statement accorded to Brihanmumbai Bharat Varsheeya Digambar Jain Mahasabha's Mumbai general secretary Bharatkumar Kala, which was circulated along with the video of land in Kodavur in Udupi Taluk of Karnataka, which had been transferred to the Waqf board.

the board that reads Kalmath Masjid
the board that reads Kalmath Masjid

Much to the horror of Hindus and Jains, the widely circulated video highlighted how a land on which once stood a Jain Basadi had been transferred to the Waqf board by the Revenue Department of the Karnataka government. And the subliminal messaging in the video was that a "BJP government" had cheated the Jain community and was hands in glove with those wishing to encroach upon this land. A lot of groups had been rallying for the reversal of this act by the administration as it caught the attention of the Jain community across the nation.

Locals in Kodavooru had protested over the sudden order and accused the Karnataka government's revenue officials of 'illegally' transferring the land, which is being disputed in the court.

For decades now, locals have been objecting to the erection of an illegal structure, 'which doesn't even have a house number', and its transformation into 'Kalmath Masjid' by Muslims who arent even locals. It is an area where also stands a large pushkarini (temple tank), that is predominantly Hindu who have been protesting against this structure which had then begun to broadcast Namaz with a police van stationed outside fearing clashes between the communities. The issue was being heard in the local court and the Waqf board as per reports.

A pushkarini step well at the site where once stood a Jain Basadi as per reports
A pushkarini step well at the site where once stood a Jain Basadi as per reports

While none of the local Muslim families in the area offered Namaz there, locals accused 'outsiders' of trying to disturb the peace in the area.

As reported by Daijiworld, local Councilor Vijay Kodavoor had warned of fierce protests if the issue isn't sorted and the land not returned to the government. "It can be clearly observed that there was Jain Basadi on this land earlier. Pushkarini wells can also be seen. The government land which did not have any Records of Rights, Tenancy and Crops (RTC) since so many years is given in favour of the administrative committee of mosque. This is illegal," said Kodavoor, as quoted.

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Bhat said those representing the illegal structure have been claiming it is a mosque of the Tippu era, but there is enough evidence to prove that there once stood a Jain Basadi. "Now with this order of denotification the locals stand vindicated and whatever needs to be done next 'legally', be it the demolition of the illegal structure or work to ascertain the existence of the Jain Basadi, shall be duly undertaken," he assured.

Siddharamaiah led Congress government was in power when the application for RTC was filed through the Waqf board, and the land verified in 2017 by the assistant commissioner and sent to the DC. This was sent to the Waqf ministry in 2018 but got notified in 2020, and land transferred to the Waqf board in January 2021. Interestingly, as the report mentions, the Mosque was being given tasdeeq (ratification) by the government since 1908, they claim, which continues to this date.

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