Mosque, Temple on Same Yard: Authorities stumped over land claim | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 01, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:31 AM, November 01, 2020

Mosque, Temple on Same Yard: Authorities stumped over land claim

The piece of land in the front yard, shared by two houses of worship of two different faiths in Lalmonirhat's Puran Bazar, has been claimed by a third party.

Setting a unique example of peaceful coexistence, members of two religious communities had been holding separate religious programmes on the yard that had been vital for the two establishments -- the century-old Hindu temple Kalibari Mondir and decades-old Puran Bazar Jame Masjid.

The persons making the claim of ownership on the piece of land, 24 decimals of area in total, already built a wall across it and made an offer to sell a 12-decimal portion of the property to the authorities of the mosque and temple.  

Govinda Chandra Saha, general secretary of the temple's managing committee, said since no one had made any claim on the land in front of the temple before and it had been left in an abandoned state, they were using it for various occasions for long.

Routine worshipping is held inside the temple building regularly. But, without the front yard, it would be very difficult to accommodate the large number of visitors who gather at the temple during bigger occasions such as Durga Puja.

The programmes held on the yard have become traditions as well as a symbol of communal harmony in the area and worshipping at the temple would be disrupted without the yard, he added. 

With the size of the adjacent yard constricted by the newly erected wall, holding of large programmes for both the institutions would be challenging because the temple building is on 8 decimals of land while the mosque building is only on 5 decimals, said Md Rafiqul Islam, muazzin of the mosque and Sree Sanjay Chakraborty, priest of the temple. 

They both urged the government to take necessary steps in this regard as none of the institutions have any funds for procuring the 12-decimal portion of the yard from its supposed owners.  

People from far and away come to see the two places of worship, only several feet apart, sharing the same yard and they would have a different impression if the yard is not kept in its original size, they also said.

Khorshed Alam Dulal, general secretary of the managing committee of the mosque, said, if the yard cannot be protected for both the mosque and the temple, the harmonious tradition of the two religious communities will be in jeopardy.

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