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Ahmedabad: PIL wants temple work at Pirana dargah halted

The petitioner has invoked the Places of Worship Act, 1991

Ahmedabad: PIL wants temple work at Pirana dargah halted

A Muslim organization has filed a PIL in the Gujarat high court complaining that a new temple is being constructed on the premises of Imamshah Bawa Dargah at Pirana village on the outskirts of Ahmedabad.

The petitioner has invoked the Places of Worship Act, 1991.

Last week, Muslim trustees of the Imamshah Bawa Roza Sansthan, the petitioner in the present case, the Sunni Awami Forum, and the Imamshahi Sadat Committee requested the district collector and superintendent of police to immediately intervene and stop the construction of a temple on the dargah premises.

They submitted, "Under the guise of renovation permission granted by the district collector on June 4, 2021, for the Imamshah Bawa Dargah at Pirana village, the dargah trust and a few miscreants are trying to convert the Muslim shrine into a temple."

They claimed that the construction violates the permission granted by the authorities.

They demanded videography of the complex to assess the situation and the appointment of a commission to draw up a panchnama to get the current situation on record.

They also complained that it has been becoming difficult for devotees to visit and pray at the dargah, as they are being provoked by chanting of slogans.

As the authorities did not respond to the representation, the Sunni Awami Forum filed a PIL seeking directions to stop the temple construction and not disturb the present situation of the dargah complex.

The petitioner invoked the Places of Worship Act, which has been invoked by Muslims in courts in cases pertaining to the Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi, the Shahi Idgah Masjid in Mathura and the Quwat-e-Islam Masjid in Delhi.

The petitioner on Thursday requested the HC for an early hearing, but the court was not inclined to allow so for a public interest litigation.

The history of the Pirana shrine has been an exemplar of communal harmony, with a large section of Imamshah Bawa devotees belonging to Hindu communities called Satsangi.

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