The controversy over the ownership of the Idgah Maidan has finally been put to rest with chief commissioner of Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) Tushar Girinath stating that the civic body does not have ownership of the ground. However, some right-wing activists are unhappy with the statement and Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has said he will discuss the matter with BBMP officials.
The Idgah Maidan located in Chamarajpet found itself in the middle of a controversy after right-wing activists claimed that it was a public place and said permissions should be granted to hold festivals in the ground. However, the Wakf Board in Karnataka pointed out that the ground is under them.
Wednesday, Girinath, while addressing the media, had said, “BBMP’s name was mentioned under the column ‘holders’ in the records in the city survey of 1974. Then the civic agency had taken possession of the land but the Khata shows that BBMP does not have ownership of the land and it is held by the Wakf Board which can apply for the Khatha along with its supporting records and steps will be taken.”
Right-wing outfits had recently claimed that the Idgah ground, a 2.5-acre land in the heart of the city, belongs to the BBMP and showed copies of some of the proceedings involving MLA Zameer Ahmed Khan, former MLA R V Devaraj, BJP leader Premila Nesargi and the ACP of the area. Initially, BBMP had claimed that the ground was their property and had asked the Wakf Board to submit documents if they had any.
The Central Muslim Association (CMA) sent a Supreme Court judgement copy and Gazette Notification dated 1965 favouring the 2.5-acre of land as a Wakf Board property. It also alleged that a BBMP revenue officer was the person who created the confusion by intentionally playing mischief.
Usually, Ramzan and Bakrid prayers are held at the Idgah Maidan but recently, Hindu Right-wing outfits sought permission to hold the International Day of Yoga (IDY) and other religious events. But the civic agency and the police refused to give permission till they got clarity of who had the ownership of the land.
The BBMP chief commissioner’s statement has not gone well with the right-wing groups, who are now blaming the civic agency for “not being informed” about the place.