Probe held on Manekas orders – Demolition of que

He was accompanied by senior staff of the PWB, including Mr Mohammad Ismail, Estate Officer, Waqf Board, Batala.

Talking to TNS, Mr Khan said the minister had taken a suo motu action on a report published by The Tribune regarding demolition of the que. However, he appreciated the Gurdaspur police for taking timely action against the 'culprits'.

He said he had met the Deputy Commissioner, the ADC, the SDM and Senior Superintendent of Police Varinder Kumar who has assured him that they would ensure the life and property of the Muslims in the border belt was protected.

However, Mr Rohit Maingi, block president, Shiv Sena, Dhariwal, refuted the charge that there was a que at the 'disputed site'. He, however, said the land belonged to the Punjab Waqf Board. He alleged that some unidentified Muslims had 'infiltrated' into Dhariwal to disrupt the peace in the border town. He said the Pakistan border was only 10 km from the 'disputed site' and the 'Tibri cantonment' only 12 km.

From the defence point of view, Dhariwal was very important. Hence, 'mischievous elements' could exploit its strategic location. Mr Maingi denied that Shiv Sena activists had ever tried to install an 'idol' at the disputed site.
He, however, admitted that they had held a religious function on January 14. He also said that namaz was never recited at the 'so-called que' during the past several years.

However, the Chief Executive Officer, showing the record of the Waqf Board, claimed that the que, which was demolished on January 14, was a 'gazetted one'. It was mentioned in the record during the state-wide survey carried out by the then Commissioner, Ambala, in the early sixties.

Mr Varinder Kumar, district police chief, said the incident was a 'minor one', which had been sorted out.
However, the police has deputed security personnel at the 'disputed site' as the situation seems to be a 'little tense but under control'.

Waqf Board officials alleged that vested interests had tried to give a communal colours to the matter. They said these vested interests wanted to grab the Waqf land.

Mr Khan alleged the owner of the house adjacent to the que had become Vice-President of the Shiv Sena in order to 'grab' land. He said he and officials of the Waqf Board were satisfied with the role of the police and the district administration which had acted with speed.

Mr Khan said he would submit a report to Mr M.R. Haque, Administrator, Punjab Waqf Board, which covers Punjab, Haryana, Himachal and Chandigarh, who would hand over the same to Ms Maneka Gandhi.

The Waqf Board official alleged that several state government departments and the police had encroached upon many properties belonging to the Waqf Board had started legal action to get its land vacated. It would ask the departments concerned either to vacate the land or pay appropriate rent.

PATHANKOT (FOC): An emergency meeting of the Shiv Sena (Bal Thackery) was held at the district Shiv Sena office here. The meeting said that no que existed at the 'disputed' land in Dhariwal which was in possession of Mr Ram Nath, father of Mr Pawan Tandon, vice-president, Shiv Sena, Dhariwal block even before Partition.
The arrests made by the police in connection with the alleged demolition of the que were tantamount to 'harassment' of Shiv Sainiks, it said.

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