Karnataka: High Court passes order maintaining status quo at Idgah Maidan

Decision is a setback to Hindutva groups planning to celebrate the upcoming Ganesha festival at the maidan.

BySaurav Kumar

Published Aug 26, 2022 | 12:38 PM Updated Aug 26, 2022 | 12:39 PM

High_Court_of_Karnataka

Karnataka High Court on  25 August passed an interim order maintaining status quo on the Idagh Maidan situated in Bengaluru’s Chamarajpet.

The order came on a petition by the Karnataka State Wakf Board challenging the 6 August decision by the BBMP that declared the state’s Revenue Department as the owner of the maidan.

Justice Hemant Chandangoudar said, “The parties are directed to maintain a status quo in respect of the property and that said property shall be utilised only for the purpose of playground and Muslim community is permitted to use for prayers on Ramzan and Bakrid respectively and not for offering prayers on any other day.”

What the status quo means

The order means the Idgah Maidan would continue to be used only for two purposes. First, as a playground — children play there regularly — and second, by the Muslim community for public prayers on the occasions of Eid and Bakrid.

Chamarajpet Idgah Maidan.

BBMP on 6 August declared the state revenue department as the owner of Idgah maidan.
(Saurav Kumar/South First)

The Karnataka State Wakf Board expressed its satisfaction over the judgement of the high court.

Waqf Board Chairman Shafi Saadi told South First: “After BBMP’s decision to name the Revenue Department as the land’s owner, we decided to take the legal route and it has given a positive result. We welcome the decision.”

Setback to Hindutva Outfits

On the 75th anniversary of Indian Independence, the Idgah maidan, for the first time, hosted a flag-hoisting ceremony. This ceremony emboldened Hindutva outfits to seek permission to celebrate the forthcoming Ganesha festival at the Idgah Maidan.

Bu the Karnataka High Court’s order has come as a setback for them.

Over the past few days, Hindutva organisations and a citizen’s group had stepped up pressure on the district administration and the state government with repeated claims that they would celebrate the Ganesha festival at Idgah maidan.

BJP MLA C.T Ravi even forwarded the citizen group’s request letter to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai.

Vishwa Sanatan Parishad, the Hindutva outfit that recently threatened to demolish the Idgah tower on the maidan, has decided to challenge the high court order.

“We are going to challenge the high court’s order. The playground should be allowed for every purpose, of all people, across every religion. And the permanent owner should be decided,” the organisation’s president S Bhaskaran told South First.