Ganesh Celebrations On Karnataka Eidgah Ground After Court Order: 10 Points

The High Court observed that the Hubballi Eidgah ground is under the Hubballi-Dharwad City Corporation.

New Delhi:
Ahead of next year’s assembly election in Karnataka, Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations have turned into a hot button issue after Hindu organisations were allowed to install Ganesh idols in Hubballi Eidgah grounds while rejected the same in Bengaluru.

Here’s your 10-point guide to this big story:

  1. In an extraordinary midnight hearing, the Karnataka High Court allowed the installation of a Ganesh pandal at Hubballi’s Eidgah Maidan. A local Muslim organisation had contested the civic body’s move to allow celebrations there, saying the Municipal Commissioner was “trying to convert the place of worship”.

  2. An idol of Lord Ganesh was installed in the ground soon after the court order, and celebrations were held peacefully amid tight security.

  3. The High Court said the “serious dispute” over ownership in the case of the Bengaluru Eidgah land, on which the Supreme Court had earlier ordered “status quo” on a petition by the Karnataka Waqf Board, did not arise here as the ground has been used for regular activities including parking vehicles, and is not a place of worship. “Facts are different,” the court said. 

  4. The High Court observed that the Hubballi Eidgah ground is under the Hubballi-Dharwad City Corporation and the petitioner, Anjuman-e-Islam, is a licensee who is allowed to use the ground on two occasions — Ramzan and Eid.

  5. “This (the Hubballi grounds) is corporation property and corporation can do whatever it considers appropriate… They have two days to pray, Ramzan and Bakri Id, that of course cannot be interfered with,” the judge said.

  6. After the state government allowed Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations on the Bengaluru ground, the Waqf Board had approached the courts saying, “No religious event from any other community has been held in this property… It has been declared as Waqf Property as per the law. Suddenly in 2022, they say that it’s disputed land, and they want to hold Ganesh Chaturthi festival here”.

  7. “Don’t give an impression to religious minorities that their rights can be trampled upon,” the lawyer, Dushyant Dave, had told the Supreme Court.

  8. The High Court will adjudicate on the ownership of the 2.5-acre Bengaluru Edigah ground, the Supreme Court has said, as heavy deployment of police and rapid action force continues there.

  9. Soon after the top court’s order on the Eidgah maidan in Bengaluru, Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka said it is actually a “public property” and the legal fight over its ownership will continue in the courts.

  10. Mr Ashoka said that the government will abide by the Supreme Court’s orders, but will continue to challenge them legally.

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