Telangana BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Tuesday, 18 April, demanded that the state government immediately revoke its move to earmark forest land for the construction of an idgah — a place set apart for public prayers on the two main Muslim feasts.
“If the government goes ahead with its move, we would be constrained to move the court, besides taking up a large-scale agitation by mobilising public support,” he said in a letter to Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao.
Land allotted for skill training centre
According to Bandi Sanjay, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had approved allotment of 3.373 hectares of forest land in survey numbers 543, 544 and 969 at Chincholi village of Nirmal district in Telangana to the state government in June 2022.
The land was allotted at the request of the state government for setting up of a Vocational Training and Skill Upgradation Centre. The Centre also denotified the forest land for the establishment of the institute, keeping in view the future of unemployed youth.
“It is unfortunate and illegal that the land was allotted for establishment of an idgah, for selfish political gains. The government rules clearly stipulate that government lands earmarked for public purposes should not be allotted for places of worship,” he said.
నిర్మల్ పట్టణంలో వృత్తి నైపుణ్య శిక్షణా కేంద్రం కోసం కేటాయించిన అటవీ భూమిని, చట్ట విరుద్ధంగా ఈద్గా నిర్మాణం కోసం కేటాయించిన బాధ్యులపై చర్యలు తీసుకోవాలని డిమాండ్ చేస్తూ తెలంగాణ ముఖ్యమంత్రి కల్వకుంట్ల చంద్రశేఖర్ రావు గారికి లేఖ.@TelanganaCMO pic.twitter.com/RwhyFEt520
— Bandi Sanjay Kumar (@bandisanjay_bjp) April 18, 2023
Moreover, the lands should be utilised for only those public purposes for which they are allotted, but not for other purposes, which would be illegal. There were clear judgements by several courts, including the Andhra Pradesh High Court, in the combined state, he contended.
The governments of the day should follow these judgements, stated Bandi Sanjay. Yet, the government had given permission for the construction of an idgah on government land, in violation of the court judgements. This is nothing but defying the judiciary and amounts to contempt of the court, he said.
‘KCR supporting illegal activities’
“We strongly condemn the act of the government for allotment of forest lands meant for public purposes to idgah to gain selfish political mileage. It is unfortunate that State Endowments Minister A Indrakaran Reddy and Home Minister Mahmood Ali are going to Chincholi today to personally launch the works for construction of an idgah in the forest land, defying the rules that government lands should not be allotted for religious purposes,” Bandi Sanjay said.
Ministers who had taken an oath in the name of the Constitution are violating it and the orders of the judiciary, he stated. Despite knowing that it is an illegal act, the chief minister remained silent, he quipped.
“We feel you are deliberately supporting these illegal activities only to violate laws of land and court judgements,” he alleged.
‘Two Hindu temples near idgah’
“l am sure you must be aware that there are two Hindu places of worship close to the area where the idgah is being constructed. While allotment of land meant for the unemployed youth itself is a big mistake, the construction of idgah close to the Hindu temples would create disturbances among the people of the two communities,” Bandi Sanjay said.
“It is the height of your selfish politics that you have chosen to promote a particular religion for the sake of votes even at the cost of the future of the unemployed. On behalf of Telangana BJP, we strongly condemn your selfish politics. It is reprehensible that even the bureaucrats who are supposed to act according to the rules have chosen to remain silent,” he said.
“At a time when several unemployed youth had resorted to suicides due to the indifferent attitude of the BRS government, I request you not to deprive them of at least skill development and employment training facilities,” he said in his letter.
If the state government goes ahead with its move to construct the idgah in the forest land meant for skill development centre in defiance of the central government orders, it has to pay a heavy price in the coming days, he rued.