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HC asks Guj govt to decide on prosecution of Baroda Mayor, top cop

Written by: Staff

Ahmedabad, July 4 (UNI) The Gujarat High Court today directed the state government to decide within four weeks whether the Vadodara Mayor, the Municipal Commissioner and the Police Commissioner should be prosecuted in connection with the demolition of a 100-year-old dargah in Vadodara in May.

Mr Justice J R Vora passed these directions while hearing a writ petition filed by one Mohammad Arif Mehmudmiya Shaikh.

The petitioner had sought the court's direction for sanction of prosecution of Mayor of Vadodara Municipal Corporation Sunil Solanki, Municipal Commissioner Rohit Pathak, Police commissioner Deepak Swarup and also Standing Committee Chairman Dinesh Chokshi for the offence under sections 153A(1) and 153A(2) of the Indian Penal Code for promoting religious hatred.

The petitioner submitted that the dargah of Hazrat Rashiduddin Chisti had been in existence for the past than 100 years near Champaner Gate in Mandvi area of Vadodara city. The mosque, which is shown in the city survey map of 1912 and 1960, had been a symbol of faith and communal harmony.

He said that though the Corporation had not passed any resolution authorising issuance of notice or for demolition of Dargah, a notice signed by the Ward Officer of Vadodara Municipal Corporation was dropped inside the Dargah on April 28 stating that the Dargah had encroached upon the road. It was directed to be removed within three days failing which the same will be demolished.

Dr Sinha said the petitioner along with nine other people had met the Mayor and the Municipal Commissioner the next day to find an amicable solution and it was agreed to reduce the size of the Dargah. While talks were going on, the Dargah was demolished on May 1, he said.

Arif also accused the Mayor, the Municipal Commissioner and the Police commissioner of acting in collusion to spread communal in the city.


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