A citizens’ group in Navi Mumbai, the Akhil Sanpada Sanskrutik Pratishthan (ASSP), has knocked the doors of the Supreme Court against the Bombay high court’s decision directing the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) to issue a commencement certificate (CC) to the Tanzimul Muslimin Society Sanpada, for the construction of a mosque in Sector 8 of Sanpada in Navi Mumbai.
Sanpada is an affluent Navi Mumbai locality and has a famous Ganpati temple, a gurudwara, and a church. The construction of a Jain derasar and another Ganpati temple is under way. For the last 22 years, residents and the administration are at loggerheads over the allotment of a plot to the Tanzimul Muslimin Society Sanpada (TMSS). The ASSP is against the construction of a mosque in the node.
The citizens’ group has also threatened that its senior members will immolate themselves if the administration hurts their sentiment and allows the construction of a mosque at the said plot. They are demanding that the proposed mosque be shifted to another place, as the population of Muslims in the area is low.
In January 2022, the high court directed the civic body to issue a CC to the TMSS for starting the construction of a mosque. The CIDCO had also issued an NOC for the construction of a mosque and the TMSS had paid the premium for the plot.
Earlier, Sanpada residents, under the banner of the Akhil Sanpada Rahiwasi Mahasangh, were opposed to the construction of a mosque. Now, this same group, continues to fight the decision, registered as the Akhil Sanpada Sanskrutik Pratishthan.
The secretary of the citizens’ group, Ghanshyam Pate, said that they had staged protests, organised a shutdown in Sanpada, held meetings with CIDCO officials and ministers and also gone to the high court to oppose the construction of a mosque in the locality. “Sanpada is a Hindu majority area, with only 51 Muslim families. Constructing a mosque here is likely to create a religious clash,” said Pate. Even the senior police inspector of Turbhe police station has said that serious law and order issues could arise if a mosque was constructed at the given plot, Pate claims.
According to Pate, Sanpada already has two mosques and the construction of another mosque in the area is even against CIDCO’s own rule, that does not allow two religious places within 500 metres. “A survey of Sanpada’s layout is underway, as directed by the urban Development department and the truth will come out, as the plot allotted to the TMSS is meant for other purposes,” claimed Pate.