HC suggests relocation of Siddhivinayak temple

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Mumbai, Sep 19 (UNI) In a new twist to the already complex Siddhivinayak temple security issue here, the Bombay High Court today suggested that relocating the temple can be an option in view of the increasing apprehension of a terror strike.

The division bench comprising justice Jai Narayan Patel and justice Amjed Ali Sayed made this observation in response to a PIL filed by Vinod Desai and other residents of the Prabhadevi area, where the temple is located.

The PIL objects to the security wall around the temple, that was built by the police fearing an Akshardham-like strike. However, the PIL contends that the wall blocks off three roads in the area, causing immense inconvenience to the residents and school going children.

When the matter came up today for hearing justice Patel, who was heading the bench quizzed the government pleader, ''As to why the state cannot think of relocating the temple?'' The security agencies and the home department should ponder over it, justice Patel observed.

Justice Patel also pointed that a wall might not prevent a terrorist attack. But ''What if tomorrow somebody goes over the terrace of a sky scrapper in the vicinity and use a rocket launcher?'' Further, justice Patel opined, ''If the existing location has high threat perception, why not the temple be relocated to a remote place like Arey Milk Colony in sub-urban Mumbai.'' It may be recalled that the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, through a resolution passed in June had approved the closure of the roads around the temple.

However, petitioner's lawyer Sanghraj Rupwate said he wanted to amend his petition, for the purpose of opposing the said amendment.

The Court has granted two weeks for carrying out the amendment.

UNI

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