Hyderabad: Minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav and Congress’ former MLA Marri Shashidhar Reddy are caught in a tussle over the location of a graveyard at the Old Customs Basti in Begumpet. The two had made promises during the Assembly elections about the demand for a graveyard.
On November 27 the minister said that a 1.5-acre portion of the Kukatpally drain near the Balkampet-Begumpet link road will be converted into a graveyard for Muslims, but it hasn’t gone down well with the community. The Jamia Nizamia has issued a fatwa that a drain (with flowing sewage water) cannot be a graveyard as it is not correct to bury the dead in unclean land.
Earlier, the former Congress MLA had identified a 4-acre stretch behind HPS School and had informed the Ranga Reddy district collector, but it was put aside as the TS minister’s proposal was accepted.
Meanwhile, a 1.5 acre strip of the drain land has been identified inside the retaining wall just after the Kukatpally drain merges with the one from Balkampet. The land, which is 10 feet lower than the road, has been announced as the graveyard for Muslims.
The TS minister has also announced that Rs 5 crore will be spent on developing the burial ground, including construction of a ramp.
Mr Saleem Khan, president of Tehreek Kabristan Committee explained, “When we bury the dead, the name of Allah is written on the forehead with sandalwood powder. How can we bury on drain land? We need a clean, even ground.”
Mr Shashidhar Reddy said, “There is a 4.75 acre plot belonging to HPS, behind the Shyamlal building area. This was identified for the burial ground but the RR district authorities have gone ahead with the minister’s proposal. Also, the NDMA guidelines on urban flooding states that any encroachment on a drain would be treated as cognizable offense.”
Mr Srinivas Yadav said, “The land has been allocated in Old Customs Basti where 80 per cent of the population is Muslim; this is a long pending demand of the community. Residents have to travel far to bury their dead. This 1.5 acre land is barren and no sewage flows in it. The land was finalised after a survey by the RR district collector.”
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