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Curbs on offering namaz at 800-year-old mosque in Maharashtra

The authorities in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district have imposed restrictions on offering prayers at the 800-year-old Jumma Masjid. An interim restraining order was issued by the district collector based on a complaint filed by a right-wing outfit claiming that the mosque was built over a Hindu temple.

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According to a report by The Wire, collector Aman Mittal issued the order to immediately ban prayers on the premises of the Jumma Masjid in Jalgaon’s Erandol taluka. The collector has also ordered police deployment in the area, directing the tahsildar to take charge of the “disputed” mosque.

According to the report, the complaint was filed by a little-known unregistered organisation called Pandavwada Sangharsh Samiti. The complainant, Prasad Madhusudan Dandawate, who according to his Facebook profile is a member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal, filed a petition before the collector, claiming that the mosque was built over a Hindu place of worship.

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In his complaint, Dandwate further claimed that the Jumma Masjid Trust has been built over an illegally encroached land.

Trust members of the Jumma Masjid, were unaware of the claims made by Dandwate, until they received a notice in June. The collector also issued notices to the Waqf Board and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), according to the report.

“The collector’s order was clearly outside his mandate and breached the legal jurisdiction of the Waqf tribunal,” the report quoted Moin Tahsildar, the chief of the board.

Restriction on prayers will continue till at least July 18, when a hearing on the matter is slated.

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