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Agartala, Dec 19 – Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind Tripura chapter on Monday sought the intervention of Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha to allow Muslims to offer Namaz at the mosque in Dimatali of Rajnagar in South Tripura, which has been stopped by a group of Hindus claiming there was a temple before.

During the Left Front regime, every year on December 6 (on the day of Babri Masjid demolition in 1992), the government sponsored a Sanghati Mela (integration fair) at Dimatali. And Muslims used to go for Namaz, but this year, after the BJP-IPFT coalition government came to power in 2018, the name of the event has been changed to Parjotan Unnon Mela (a tourism development fair).

The controversy erupted after Hindu Jagaran Mancha submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister on December 10, when he had gone for the inauguration of a three-day fair, seeking his intervention to reclaim the old shrine of Lord Jagannath, which has now served as a mosque.

According to the police, the structure in question remained abandoned throughout the year, and only during the annual festival inside the premises did people from both communities participate. Muslims offered Namaz there for three days, but this year it was disrupted following the controversy.

In a letter to Rajnagar’s Block Development Officer, about 27 Muslim families living in the area urged him to restore their right to offer Namaz inside the mosque.

A separate letter was also sent to the District Magistrate of the South Tripura district.

Jamiat Tripura Chief Mufti Taibur Rahman claimed the claim of the temple is not factually correct because, for the last 12 years, Namaz has been offered in the mosque. People from Muslim communities are frightened to go there, as threats were issued to them.

“We seek Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha’s intervention to resume regular Namaz in the mosque. We always want peace and harmony in Tripura. Whatever has happened can be corrected and should be corrected as soon as possible. We have sought the appointment of the Chief Minister to apprise him of the factual position, but unfortunately he could not give us time yet,” Rahman stated.

He also demanded a state government’s policy decisions on the management and utilization of properties belonging to the Tripura Waqf Board, a rehabilitation package for Muslims who had suffered at the hands of insurgent groups, a total ban of social issues like dowry and child marriage, and the enactment of stringent laws against drug abuse and trafficking.

He said Principal of Dural Uloom Deoband Moulana Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani would be arriving here in Tripura on January 11 next year to attend the 75th Waz Mahfil to be organized by Dural Uloom Tripura located at Rangamati Sonamura and added, “We have sought security arrangements and access to chopper service for his arrival and transportation to the event venue.”

Meanwhile, the opposition, TIPRA Motha, CPM, and Congress separately demanded the immediate intervention of the Chief Minister to resolve the communal rift among the communities and to call the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a scientific study on the site and to decide the claim on the properties.