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Tripura to relocate unauthorised religious structures on govt land

 AGARTALA, Dec 14 - The BJP-IPFT Tripura Government has initiated the process of relocating unauthorised religious structures in compliance with a Supreme Court directive, officials said on Friday.

The apex court directive was given in 2009 and in 2013 the erstwhile Left Front Government had passed a resolution on the issue and submitted an affidavit to it stating that the order would be implemented.

However, not much was done till this year when the BJP-led coalition government in Tripura decided to act on it.

Additional secretary in the Revenue department, LT Darlong said, “The issue is still sub-judice in Tripura High Court. The State Government will file an affidavit to the High Court on December 19 on the unauthorised religious structures in the State.”

The Supreme Court passed a directive as early as 2009 to remove or demolish all unauthorised religious structures on government land which can cause inconvenience in public places. Now, Tripura Chief Justice Sanjay Karol is looking after the implementation of the issue and a hearing on the subject will be held soon, the West Tripura additional district magistrate Tapan Kumar Das said.

All district magistrates will have to file affidavits of progress and the West Tripura district administration has started discussing relocation of the structures built on government lands with the authorities of the religious bodies, he said.

In all at least 12 small temples, like Shani and Kali temples have been relocated by the district authorities themselves and discussions are being held with those in charge of mosques, churches and big temples, Das told newsmen.

Sonamura sub-divisional magistrate in West Tripura district, Saju Waheed said the unauthorised religious structures are being divided into two categories, structures which were built over 30 years ago and those erected less than 30 years back.

We have identified 184 such structures in Sonamura sub-division of Sipahijala district alone. Among them, 61 structures are less than 30 years old. We have already removed 15-16 structures and have issued notice for the rest,” he said.

Notices were issued to 48 religious bodies, which include 20 temples, 26 mosques and two churches asking for relocating the structures, he said. – PTI

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