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Historical Mosque in Maharashtra Sealed Following Hindutva Group’s Land Claim

In Maharashtra’s Erandol town, a mosque from the 16th century has been temporarily sealed by the district administration following claims by a Hindutva group that it was constructed after demolishing a Hindu religious structure.

The Mosque Committee Trust moved the Aurangabad High Court to challenge the order and requested permission to continue offering prayers at the mosque.

The trust’s advocate, Shahid Nadeem, expressed the urgency of the matter, but the court decided not to list the case for Wednesday.

Nadeem argued that the collector’s order to seal the mosque was illegal since it is located on a registered waqf property, and decisions regarding waqf properties should be handled by the Waqf tribunal.

He stated that the collector had bypassed the appropriate authority and deemed the order prima facie illegal.Jalgaon District Collector Aman Mittal invoked Section 145 of the CrPc (Criminal Procedure Code) on Tuesday, imposing a temporary ban on prayers at the mosque.

Nadeem provided a video showing a large group of people offering namaz in the mosque and shared documents proving its waqf status.

However, the Hindutva group Pandav Vara Sangharsh Samiti claimed that the mosque was built by demolishing the Pandav Vara structure situated at the same site.

In May of this year, the president of the Hindutva outfit, Pramodhusadan Dandvate, filed a complaint with the Jalgaon district magistrate, alleging that the mosque’s trust had illegally occupied their land.

They requested a survey and sealing of the mosque.

District Collector Mittal summoned the petitioner, mosque trustee, Tehsildar, and a representative from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Tuesday to hear all sides.

After the discussions, Mittal issued the order banning namaz at the mosque and also imposed Section 144 due to the sensitivity of the situation. The administration requested relevant documents from the Waqf authorities as well.

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