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AGARTALA | March 7, 2019:

The police lodged a case after a complaint was filed by a graveyard committee in the Tripura capital alleging an illegal temple has been set up on a land being used as a burial ground, officials said on Tuesday.

Officials said the temple is illegal and police have deployed security personnel at the spot in South Joynagar area of state capital Agartala.

Tahar Miah, secretary of the South Joynagar Kabarstan Suraksha Committee, said the temporary Shiva temple was built there on the eve of Maha Shivaratri to grab the land used as a graveyard by the minority community for the last 70 years.

“We have sought help from the police to ensure that our burial spot is not affected, since any ownership otherwise could not be proved in the court of law. We want the entire land to be handed over to us,” said Miah, who lodged the complaint on Monday.

A local Pradip Das claimed before a group of visiting journalists that a part of the land belonged to him and “forced burial” had started there around 25 years ago with the help of CPI(M), the then ruling party.

Police officer Ajay Kumar Das said one person has claimed that the land belonged to him but could not produce any document to prove it.

“A temple made of bamboo and cloth was built on the land. Some people started worshipping a deity of Lord Shiva there. The structure is illegal. The area is a burial ground. We have deployed security personnel to avoid any untoward incident,” Mr Das said.

The graveyard committee secretary said the land is owned by one Abdul Ahad Miah of the area. However, he admitted that he does not have any mutation paper.

Das had challenged in the High Court a verdict of the West Tripura Additional District Judge who turned down his entitlement plea. The order was made available to the media.

Pradip Das said, “I have made an announcement to donate a piece of my land to set up a temple. Forced burials were done here for almost 25 years. There is not a single minority family in our locality. But CPI(M) leaders backed members of the minority community and burials started by force.”

(PTI)

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