Kanpur Mayor Pramila Pandey has caused an uproar by demanding a new law that would prohibit Muslims from purchasing properties owned by Hindus, and vice versa. The contentious proposal has reignited communal tensions and raised concerns about religious harmony in the city.
Mayor Pandey, during a recent visit to Munshipurwa, a Muslim-dominated locality in Kanpur, expressed her frustration over what she termed the “mentality” of Muslims concerning temples in their area.
“I do not have a problem with Muslims per se, but it is their mentality they have about temples in their area that is the problem,” she said.
She cited a complaint alleging that Muslims were gradually encroaching on a Hanuman temple in the neighbourhood, which added fuel to the fire.
Speaking to reporters, the Mayor claimed that during her previous term, she identified 125 temples that were allegedly illegally occupied by Muslims.
“In my previous term as mayor, 125 temples illegally occupied by Muslims were identified and I will ensure that such illegal occupation is removed,” she said.
The crux of the controversy lies in a property around the Munshipurwa temple, which was previously owned by Shiv Murat. Reportedly, he sold the property to its current owner, Mohd Akhlaq, about 20 years ago. The sale agreement stipulated that no windows or doors should open towards the temple.
Pandey alleged that garbage was being thrown around the temple, to encroach on the area.
It is essential to recall that Mayor Pandey had initiated a campaign in 2022 to identify Hindu temples located in Muslim-dominated areas. However, the campaign faced violent opposition and was eventually called off on June 3, 2022.