Srinagar: Local Muslims on Friday foiled an attempt of the encroachment of an ancient Hanuman temple, which is located beneath the Hari Parbat in Srinagar since early 90’s.
“There have been several attempts to encroach and sell off this piece of land but owing to the alertness of locals, such incidents have been prevented,” Dr Mushtaq Khan, a resident of Kathi Darwaza told The Indian Express.
As per the local Muslims, there have been several attempts made to encroach 10 canals of land that surround the temple.
Khan on Friday alleged that the land mafia started constructing a boundary around the plot in the old city area with tin and timber.
“I found out, some of us went to the spot to prevent the construction and then we alerted the Chief Minister’s grievance cell,” Khan said.
They had brought a fraudulent letter from the ‘Kashmiri Pandit Sangharsh Samiti’ (KPSS), (a body of Kashmiri Pandits in the valley that has been demanding protection of Hindu temples in the valley) allowing construction in the area.
The District Commissioner, Srinagar Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, who was also informed of this incident said that immediate efforts were made to seize the construction material, “one person was arrested on the spot and the matter is under investigation,” Shah stated.
“We will make concerted efforts to ensure that no property around any religious structure is encroached upon. I also request locals to bring all such incidents to our notice,” he added.
Locals allege that several plots of government land in the area were similarly encroached upon and sold off, during the past years. The temple lies in the guardianship of the local Muslims, as there is no priest or Mahant alotted to the temple.
President of the KPSS Sanjay Tikoo said, about 257 Hindu temples, shrines and ashrams in the valley, about 150 are encroached upon or sold multiple times without the knowledge of the authorities.