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Mosque was built on a temple’s ruins, argues Hindu body in SC

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Babri Demolition

New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) On Tuesday, the fifth day of hearing in the Ayodhya case at the Supreme Court, Hindus submitted that a temple was destroyed and a mosque was built over it. Such an act couldn’t deprive the deity and the temple of the ownership of the place, they said.

Though the Muslim parties objected to the proceedings, the court brushed aside their opposition.

Advocate C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for deity Ram Lalla Virajman, cited the Allahabad High Court judgement where a judge restricted the Lord Ram’s birthplace to the central dome of the mosque and, through a map identified the circular path for ‘parikrama’ by devotees to complete their worship. Therefore, the area under the ‘parikrama’ also became a place of the deity, Vaidyanathan submitted.

“The three-judge Bench of the Allahabad HC also held that there was a temple at the disputed area. Justice S.U. Khan had identified that mosque was built on the temple’s ruins. Therefore, the mosque was not built on the vacant land”, submitted Vaidyanathan.

Drawing an inference for his arguments, Vaidyanathan said if judges had concurred that there was a temple before the mosque, then the deity’s possession right should be accepted. As the deity was never alienated from the property, there could not be adverse possession of it, he argued.

Justice D Y Chandrachud, one of the judges of the Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, queried Vaidyanathan, how would the court proceed in the light of the Allahabad HC verdict, which favoured joint possession of both parties?

To this Vaidyanathan submitted the ouster of the Hindu deity from the site was never established. Neither was established the exclusive possession of the Muslim side. Therefore, it’s logical to say those who offered prayers from the time immemorial should retain their rights. Muslim couldn’t present any document to show their ownership, thus how could they establish adverse possession, he said.

Justice Ashok Bhushan then intervened saying the Muslim side has claimed exclusive possession of the site. When Vaidyanathan argued the high court didn’t accept that, the judge quipped: “We don’t have to go just by the findings of the high court.”

CJI Gogoi also asked Vaidyanathan to answer how Ram Lala Virajman established its exclusive title while countering the suit by the Sunni Waqf Board.

The counsel argued a place could also be considered a deity by virtue of belief by millions, and it’s the divinity of the deity. Vaidyanathan also cited the Supreme Court judgment to claim presence of idol was not the sole condition for existence of a temple. “If people believe in its religious worth, the condition is automatically met,” contended Vaidyanathan.

K Parasaran, also appearing for Ram Lalla Virajman, concluding his arguments submitted that the court must deliver complete justice in all the matter before it.

Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for a Muslim party, objected to the line of argument by the Hindu parties and informed the court he didn’t favour the way the proceedings were being carried out.

Dhavan said lawyers from the Hindu side had not exhibited anything yet, rather than reading out from the Allahabad HC judgement. “This is a case of hop, skip and jump. No exhibit or evidence has been placed yet. In fact, most citations was not admitted by the HC”, argued Dhavan.

When the Chief Justice said the Muslim parties would get their time, Dhavan replied, “I hope you do”. To that the Chief Justice told Dhavan that from day one he had been making snide remarks at the Bench. Let it be loud and clear to all counsel appearing in the matter, we were not in hurry and they could take as much time as possible, the Bench said.

Ram Lalla Virajman’s counsel also presented P. Carnegie’s historical sketches on the importance of Ayodhya along with the British administration orders.

Vaidyanathan read out the gazetteer notices in 1850s to show that though complaints were lodged regarding the inner courtyard’s construction, nothing was removed and that included the Chabutara. Therefore, everything continued. “The British wanted everything to remain undisturbed,” said Vaidyanathan and added the deity predated the mosque.

When Justice S.A. Bobde asked Vaidyanathan, “You are saying the deity can’t be partitioned,” Vaidyanathan replied in affirmative. “There can’t be any division of the deity. If the place belongs to deity, then the construction of mosque can’t change the status of deity,” he argued.

The hearing will continue on Wednesday.

Against the 2010 Allahabad HC verdict, nearly 14 appeals have been filed in the apex court. The HC through its judgement, in four civil suits, partitioned the 2.77-acre land equally among the three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla.

India

JNU student protest taking partisan hue

On Twitter, the comments around the protest march are as much around a “fascist mindset” as they are about keeping education affordable for poor students.

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JNU Students Sansad March

New Delhi, Nov 18 : The agitation by students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) is getting increasingly politicised as the battlelines are now drawn on ideological lines over the “gaushala vs paathshala” debate.

Senior Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Mohammed Salim remarked on Sunday during a JNU protest that: “Paathshala mein kharcha nahin karenge, gaushala mein karenge”. He was referring to what the Left leaders are terming a threat to public funded education by raising fees in universities and colleges and instead trying to promote saffronisation.

It is becoming clear that what started as a protest on hiking of hostel fees by JNU students has turned into a political slugfest with the Opposition attacking the policies of the Narendra Modi government while the government conscious of the ideological baggage of the protesters is also digging in its heels.

CPI-M General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said in a tweet: “JNU under seige; such a massive deployment of forces was not seen even during the Emergency. A peaceful protest march to Parliament against the unprecedented fee hikes is being focibly stopped by the police. Strongly condemn this denial of basic democratic right to protest”.

The JNU students march to Parliament became a huge controversy as it was stopped just before the main building by the police. The visuals of police and students clashing in Lutyens’ Delhi on a day when Parliament was on its first day of functioning led to a huge political uproar.

On Twitter, the comments around the protest march are as much around a “fascist mindset” as they are about keeping education affordable for poor students.

The Left leaders especially are seeking to attack the Modi government and the JNU administration for tactics of “Hindu Rashtra fascists” who are trying to curb democratic protests.

With the students also asking other universities to join in, it is becoming a protest against education policies of the government but also a protest against the alleged biases of the right wing.

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JNU students’ march at behest of Left leaders: Spl Branch report

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JNU protest to Parliament

New Delhi, Nov 18 : A confidential report of the Special Branch of Delhi police reveals that protesting students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) had no initial plans to march towards Parliament. “At the behest of prominent CPI and CPI-M leaders, the student group finally decided on Saturday to lead a march to Parliament on Monday,” says the report of the Special Branch sent to the Police headquarters.

On the basis of intelligence inputs, a heavy contingent of police consisting of 800 constables of local police and ten companies of Central paramilitary force was deployed at JNU while key Metro stations were shut.

On Sunday late evening, government officials held a meeting with a few student groups and requested them not to march towards Parliament where the winter session was to begin. However, the report says Left-supported student organisations, the AISA, SFI and AISF, insisted that the march to Parliament would not be postponed.

Sources said on Monday morning, a mob of students forced its way through by breaking the first line of police barricades. The students were led by a Left-wing union.

The report of Special Branch reveals that after the barricades were broken, the students were pacified. They were told that a high-power committee has been constituted to consider their demands. On persuasion of two senior IPS officers, most students seemed convinced and retracted.

However, after a while, a large group of students, suddenly turned violent and managed to break the barricades and proceeded to New Delhi area through Aurobindo Marg. The police contained the agitated groups at Safdarjung Tomb near Jor Bagh, at the border of New Delhi District.

The report says a particular student organisation again refuelled the situation by raising slogans against the government. Subsequently, over 100 students broke through the barricades and tried to march towards New Delhi district area.

The police spokesman told IANS that later these students had to be detained to prevent the situation from going out of hands. The report says that besides the Left, a few leaders of a prominent opposition party were also backing the agitating students to lead a procession towards Parliament.

(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at [email protected])

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Delhi govt approves 3 new hospitals

“The new hospitals will cater to over 40 lakh people, who had to travel around 5 km (or 30 minutes) to the closest government facility,” Jain said

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Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi, Nov 18 : The Delhi government’s Expenditure Finance Committee here on Monday approved the plan to build three hospitals, each having 650-bed capacity, to increase the access to secondary and tertiary healthcare. Construction is likely to start in two months.

“Each of the three hospitals is to have around 650 beds as per the initial plan, thereby, adding 1,950 beds in the Delhi hospitals,” Health Minister Satyendar Jain said.

The committee, headed by Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Manish Sisodia, approved the projects.

The hospitals will be constructed in Madipur, Hastsal and Jwalapuri areas of Delhi. “These locations have been selected given their high population density and lack of government hospital facility in proximity,” he said.

Madipur is located in West Delhi and is an urban slum area. Hastsal (near Vikaspuri) and Jwalapuri (in Nagloi) are inhabited by urban, rural and semi-urban population.

“The new hospitals will cater to over 40 lakh people, who had to travel around 5 km (or 30 minutes) to the closest government facility,” Jain said

Apart from increasing access to tertiary healthcare and reducing the expenses, the new hospitals would also reduce the burden on the existing facilities, he added.

“Analysis of the five-year data of the Guru Gobind Singh Hospital (which is 5 km from Madipur, Hastsal and Jwalapuri) shows OPD attendance had increased from 5.5 lakh in 2011 to 6.82 lakh in 2016, and has continued to rise. The corresponding increase for indoor admissions is 5,360 patients from 3,490 patients. Construction of new hospitals will lower the burden and increase beds per patient,” the Minister said.

The aim, he said was to provide free and quality healthcare to all, regardless of their income status. To achieve it, increasing access to healthcare was of paramount importance, he said.

“We want to bring healthcare close to people’s home to help them save money on travelling or on private facilities. We want to increase the number of beds so that no patient is denied treatment because of unavailability of services. Strengthening public healthcare provisions is mandatory for any state, which wants to benefit residents,” Jain said.

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