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Karnataka HC issues notice to Centre, State govts over unauthorised madrassa at Jumma Masjid in Srirangapatna

The Karnataka High Court issues notice to Central and State Governments following a public interest petition against alleged illegal Madrasas at Srirangapatna's Jumma Masjid. The petitioner calls for halting operations, citing damage to the historic monument and violation of preservation laws.

Karnataka HC issues notice to Centre, State over unauthorised madrassa at Jumma Masjid in Srirangapatna vkp
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First Published Jan 18, 2024, 4:15 PM IST

Karnataka High Court has issued a notice to both the Central and State Governments in response to a public interest petition seeking an immediate halt to the illegal Madrasas allegedly operating within the premises of the historic Jumma Masjid in Srirangapatna, Mandya district.

The petition, filed by Abhishek Gowda, a resident of Hosa Kabbalu village in Kanakapura taluk of Ramanagara district, was heard by the divisional bench headed by Chief Justice P.B. Varale and Justice Krishna S. Dixit on Wednesday.

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After considering the arguments put forth by the petitioner's counsel, the bench issued notices to the respondents, including the Union Ministry of Culture, the Director General of Archaeology and Survey of India, the Karnataka Revenue Department, and the Mandya District Collector. The hearing has been adjourned for further proceedings.

The Jumma Masjid in Srirangapatna, constructed during the reign of King Tipu Sultan of Mysore, has been officially declared a historical and ancient monument by the Survey Department of India, which is actively involved in its preservation. However, the petitioner alleges the presence of an unofficial residential Madrasa within the memorial, where approximately 50-60 students are reportedly studying and residing.

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The Madrasa, according to the petitioner, has led to the construction of temporary buildings on the mosque premises, causing damage to the monument. The petitioner contends that these activities violate Sections 7, 8, and 16 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958.

Expressing concern over the alleged encroachment, the petition highlights that despite complaints filed with the Mandya District Collector and local police, and a letter of appeal issued on May 20, 2022, the situation remains unresolved. The petitioner urges immediate intervention to cease the Madrasa's operations and preserve the Jumma Masjid as an ancient monument. The plea calls for the removal of all unauthorized constructions within the mosque, demanding action from both the central and state governments.

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