Karnataka: Hindu leaders on Wednesday morning installed a Ganesh idol in Hubballi’s Idgah ground, a day after Karnataka High Court allowed Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations there.
In the most recent development involving Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at Idgah grounds in Karnataka, Anjuman Islam has petitioned the Supreme Court, challenging the Karnataka High Court’s orders allowing festivities at Hubballi’s Idgah grounds.
Hindu leaders installed a Ganesh idol in Hubballi’s Idgah ground on Wednesday morning, a day after the Karnataka High Court approved Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations there.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled against Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at the Idgah grounds in Bengaluru, while the Dharwad bench of the Karnataka High Court declined late at night to stay an order of the Hubbali Mayor allowing the celebrations at the Idgah maidan in Hubbali.
Hubballi’s Idgah ground controversy
Local Muslims are said to have traditionally used the Idgah, one of three in Hubbali, to offer Ramzan and Bakrid prayers. There are some old reports of various political parties holding fairs and meetings on the ground in the decades before independence. At various points in the nineteenth century, the land is said to have been owned by one Moopana Basappa Narool, one Esar Vanch Padri, and the Basel Mission.
The Hubbali Municipality purchased the land in the early twentieth century. The Anjuman-e-Islam petitioned the municipality in 1921 to allow Muslims to pray in the maidan. The representation was accepted by the municipality, and the land was leased to the Anjuman for 999 years.
Under certain conditions, the government allowed the Anjuman to build shops on the land in the 1960s. The Anjuman attempted to build a commercial complex on the site in 1972, and a structure was eventually built. The Anjuman’s move was legally challenged on the grounds that it violated the terms of the 1921 lease agreement, and the case was litigated for decades.
In 2010, the Supreme Court upheld the Karnataka High Court’s and lower courts’ decisions, ruling that the Idgah maidan was the sole property of the Hubbali-Dharwad Municipal Corporation, and that the Anjuman had permission only to hold prayers twice a year and not to build any permanent structures on it.
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