In Maharashtra’s Erandol town, a centuries-old mosque has been temporarily sealed by the district administration following claims made by a Hindutva group.
The group alleges that the mosque was constructed by demolishing a Hindu religious structure.
The Mosque Committee Trust, responsible for the upkeep of the mosque, promptly approached the Aurangabad High Court to challenge the district administration’s order.
The trust sought permission to continue offering prayers at the mosque, emphasizing the urgency of the matter. However, the court has yet to list the case for a hearing.
Advocate Shahid Nadeem, representing the trust, argued that the collector’s decision to seal the mosque was unlawful since it stands on a registered waqf property.
He further contended that matters related to waqf properties should be addressed by the Waqf tribunal, accusing the collector of bypassing the appropriate authority.
Nadeem presented evidence in the form of a video showcasing individuals engaged in prayer within the mosque and shared documents verifying its waqf status.
On the other hand, the Hindutva group known as Pandav Vara Sangharsh Samiti claimed that the mosque had been erected by demolishing the Pandav Vara structure that previously occupied the same site.
In May of this year, the president of the Hindutva outfit, Pramodhusadan Dandvate, lodged a complaint with the Jalgaon district magistrate, alleging that the mosque’s trust had unlawfully encroached upon their land.
In response, District Collector Aman Mittal summoned all relevant parties, including the petitioner, mosque trustee, Tehsildar (revenue officer), and a representative from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), to hear their arguments.
After thorough discussions, District Collector Mittal issued an order prohibiting prayers at the mosque and implemented Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPc) due to the sensitivity surrounding the issue.
Additionally, the administration has requested relevant documentation from the Waqf authorities to further investigate the matter.