India: Bombay High Court allows Khoja Shia Muslims to pray at Silvassa during holy Ramadan

India: Bombay High Court allows Khoja Shia Muslims to pray at Silvassa during holy Ramadan

The Bombay High Court recently directed authorities to open a burial ground in Silvassa, which was acquired and sealed for the construction of the proposed Ring Road. The direction aims at allowing the followers of the Khoja Shia Muslim Sect to offer prayers during holy month of Ramzaan (Ramadan) there.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Bombay High Court recently directed authorities to open a burial ground in Silvassa, which was acquired and sealed for the construction of the proposed Ring Road. The direction aims at allowing the followers of the Khoja Shia Muslim Sect to offer prayers during holy month of Ramzaan (Ramadan) there.

The HC observed that: "Though infrastructure projects are essential, public interest has to be tempered by taking into account human sentiments involved while executing them."

The direction was given during the hearing of a petition filed by Khoja Shia Ithna Ashari Jammat of Dadra and Nagar Haveli, challenging the decision of sealing the burial ground. It stated that sealing the place will hurt the sentiments of those who visit the site during the holy month of Ramzaan to offer prayers.

A division bench of Justice MS Sanklecha and Justice SS Shinde, said, "One cannot ignore the fact that the said land is of religious significance to the members of the petitioning society. Till the fate of the previous petition is decided in June, the authorities are directed to allow the community to offer their prayers for their departed loved ones."

The HC further said: "Considering that the land was awarded back in 2014, and that the possession continues to be with the petitioners, and that possession has not been taken for the other properties acquired for the construction of Ring Road, too, intervention at this stage is called for."

It also directed the community to not allow any fresh burial and consider shifting the burial place to a new plot of land.




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