Remove illegal religious structures from govt land, HC tells Kerala | India News

KOCHI: Kerala high court has ordered state govt to remove all illegal and unauthorised stones, crosses or other structures of religious significance erected on govt land by any religious group within a year.
Justice P V Kunhikrishnan passed the order on a plea by Plantation Corporation of Kerala, seeking steps to evict encroachers from its estates. HC directed the chief secretary to instruct all district collectors to conduct an inquiry through revenue officials and others to identify such “religious encroachments” within six months.The public can also bring such matters to the collector’s attention.
If any illegal religious structures are found, the district collectors, with the help of police, should remove them from govt land within six months after an inquiry and a hearing, the court said.
The bench also directed that an action taken report be filed before the registrar general of HC within a year.
The plantation corporation had alleged deliberate attempts to trespass on govt land in the name of religion with support of certain political groups in Chandanappally Estate, Mottappara, Chandanathadikkal and Padayanippara in Pathanamthitta.
The court said it was a trend to erect stones or crosses in public places and on govt land, claiming religious significance for these places, which leads to temporary construction and eventually permanent structure. If people start constructing illegal religious structures in public places and on govt land, it would lead to communal disharmony, the judge observed.
Believers, irrespective of religion, believe God is everywhere, including within their bodies, their homes, and wherever they go. Therefore, they need not encroach upon govt land to construct religious structures, HC said. “Let it be distributed to landless people and used for mankind. God will be more happy in such a situation andwill shower blessings on all believers,” the bench said.


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