Tamil Nadu

HC orders status quo on move to lock and seal a Mosque-cum-Madrasa in Tiruppur

City Police Commissioner A.G Babu and District Superintendent of Police G. Shashank Sai holding talks with the protesters in Tiruppur on Thursday.

City Police Commissioner A.G Babu and District Superintendent of Police G. Shashank Sai holding talks with the protesters in Tiruppur on Thursday.

On being informed of unrest and tension prevailing at Velampalayam in Tiruppur city due to the municipal corporation’s move to lock and seal a mosque-cum-Madrasa (Islamic education centre) in Mahalakshmi Nagar, the Madras High Court on Thursday heard the issue following an urgent mention and ordered maintenance of status quo until Monday.

Justices R. Mahadevan and Mohammed Shaffiq decided to hear two pending contempt petitions related to the mosque on Monday and directed the officials to not disturb the regular activities in the mosque and the Madrasa till then. The directions were issued after the court was told the Muslims in the locality had indulged in protests

Tamil Nadu Wakf Board counsel S. Haja Mohideen Gisthi brought it to the notice of the judges that the protesters had also indulged in road blockade for more than two years against the move to lock and seal the mosque. He said, the officials need not have indulged in coercive action when the contempt petitions were pending.

The lock and seal action was initiated following an order passed by Tiruppur Collector S. Vineeth on May 8 refusing to grant No Objection Certificate for the mosque-cum-Madrasa at the residential locality. Justice Krishnan Ramasamy of the High Court had on January 3 directed the Collector to pass appropriate order on the application for NOC.

“This court does not find any impediment for the Collector to issue NOC because after all the petitioner is constructing the mosque and madrasa for conducting the prayers and for imparting Islamic education to the Muslims. In fact, the Constitution provides right to freedom of religion whereby every citizen has a right to practice and promote their religion peacefully.

“On production of such NOC, the (Tiruppur Corporation) Commissioner is directed to consider the petitioner’s representation for granting necessary planning permission for construction in accordance with law,” the judge wrote. However, the Collector considered various factors and rejected the plea for grant of NOC.

The Collector had pointed out that the application for NOC must have been filed before the construction of the mosque since the law permits him to grant NOC only for a vacant land. However, now, a one-storey building had already been constructed and the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Building Rules do not permit grant of NOC to a building, he had said.

The official also stated that permission could be granted only for residential houses in the said locality.

Protests staged

Amid heavy downpour in Tiruppur, 300 persons belonging to Muslim community staged a protest by holding tarpaulin in front of the Tiruppur Corporation office against the sealing of the mosque on Thursday.

The Corporation decided to seal the mosque based on the High Court order.

According to the police, the Resident Welfare Association of the area where the mosque is situated lodged a complaint in 2012 to stop the religious activity. It alleged that a house was converted into a mosque that did not get proper permission to function. A two judge bench of the Madras High Court directed the Corporation to seal the mosque.

Demonstrations were staged near Pushpa theatre, CTC corner, Anupparpalayam and Mangalam areas. In Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam staged a protest at Ukkadam.

The protestors raised slogans against the administration in front of the Tiruppur Corporation office. The council meeting that was scheduled to be held at 4 p.m on Thursday was postponed, said Mayor N. Dinesh Kumar.

City Police Commissioner A.G. Babu and District Superintendent of Police G. Shashank Sai held talks with the protestors. Mr Shashank Sai told The Hindu “the protest was withdrawn based on the interim order by the High Court, that has given time till July 4 to decide on the matter.” He also said that the law and order situation in the district is under control.

Meanwhile, Tiruppur South MLA K. Selvaraj wrote a letter to Chief Minister M.K Stalin to take cognisance of the issue. The Indian National League also drew the attention of the Chief Minister to the incident. 

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Printable version | Aug 5, 2022 10:07:43 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-orders-status-quo-on-move-to-lock-and-seal-a-mosque-cum-madrasa-in-tiruppur/article65586380.ece