Sandeep Rai| TNN | Dec 18, 2017, 21:18 IST

Meerut: After ‘love jihad’, right-wing groups are all set to take up what they term as ‘land jihad’, and are chalking up a campaign against alleged appropriation of government land by minority groups, as well as stealthy encroachment and “takeover” of majority-dominated residential areas.
Western Uttar Pradesh convenor for Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Sudarshan Chakra told TOI, “We want to draw attention of governments all over the country to those areas within the premises of government institutions and on government land, where a grave is converted into a mazaar (shrine) and within no time, a small mosque is built. And then anti-national activities are planned and promoted there.”

Chakra added, “These shrines are becoming a major concern for us. There are hundreds of them, even in the Meerut Cantonment area, posing a great danger to national security. We have decided to give a memorandum to various governments to demolish these structures as they are illegal and built on government land.”

Bajrang Dal convenor for Meerut province, Balraj Dungar said, “There is a sinister strategy by members of the minority community to buy a house in a Hindu-dominated locality. Over time, due to their activities, their Hindu neighbours are compelled to sell their houses to other minority families and move away. In this way the entire neighbourhood becomes dominated by that community and there is exodus of Hindus. All this comes under land jihad. We will now campaign more aggressively against this.”

Dungar added, “There are so many colonies like Patel Nagar, which were Hindu-dominated, but which are now completely dominated by the minority community. All this must stop.”

The statements come just a day after a family was prevented by BJP workers from selling their house to a Muslim family in Maliwara area of the city. On Sunday night, jeweller Sanjay Rastogi had sold his house in a Hindu-dominated area but BJP workers got news of it. Deepak Sharma, city secretary for BJP youth wing said, “We have convinced Rastogi not to allow anyone from the minority community to buy the house.”

On September 29, 2009, the Supreme Court had ruled that “no unauthorized construction” in the name of religious places of any community would be allowed in public places including roads and parks. The apex court was ruling on a 2006 order by the Gujarat High Court which directed the government to remove encroachment on public spaces by religious structures. The high court had taken cognizance of a news report in TOI, quoting the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, that 1,200 Hindu temples and 260 Muslim shrines had encroached on public spaces.