Collector bans entry to mosque in Jalgaon, trust moves HC


A trust managing a mosque in Maharashtra’s Jalgaon district has moved the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court against the collector’s order banning entry into the premises following a complaint claiming the structure has the appearance of a temple. The trust’s advocate, S. S. Kazi, said the petition would be taken up for hearing on July 18. The petition, filed by the Jumma Masjid Trust Committee through its president, Altaf Khan, claimed the collector passed the “arbitrary and illegal” order on July 11, 2023, directing them to hand over keys to the mosque to the Erandol municipal council’s chief officer. The order was passed under Sections 144 and 145 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, as per which the status quo shall be maintained pending a final decision on the dispute over the land. As per the plea, the mosque has been in existence for decades, and the Maharashtra government has declared the structure of the masjid an ancient and historical monument and enlisted it in the Schedule of Protected Monuments.
The petitioner stated the trust has been taking the utmost care, and there has been no complaint received in that regard by the Archaeological Department or even the state government. In May this year, the Pandavwada Sangharsh Sameti, in order to create disturbance in Jalgaon’s Erandol taluka, submitted an application to the district collector claiming the ancient monument has the “appearance of a mandir” and therefore the occupation of the Muslim community must be vacated.