Jalandhar, February 1
After a showdown between officials of the Municipal Corporation and the Punjab Waqf Board over the issue of occupying 1 kanal 14 marla land in Hansraj Stadium yesterday, the district administration directed either side to maintain status quo on the matter.
Entire stadium sports hub, & nothing else
The entire compound of Hansraj Stadium is clearly a sports hub. I really do not know why the Punjab Waqf Board officials staked their claim on the land and that too with full police strength sans any prior notice. Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Principal Secretary, Sports
All claimants of the property, including the MC, Waqf Board and the Sports Department, have been directed by the administration to show documentary evidences regarding their claim to the land.
On Tuesday, ADGP (PAP)-cum-administrator of Punjab Waqf Board MF Farooqui reached the site and got a wall constructed inside the open space of the stadium to stake the claim. The boundary wall work went on a war footing for the whole day, but in the evening a bulldozer of the MC reached the site on the orders of Commissioner and IAS officer Abhijeet Kaplish and demolished it.
The matter began to take a religious colour late last night as the Muslim community leaders gathered outside the residence of Kaplish alleging that a part of the wall of the ‘mazaar’ at the site too had been demolished in the process. Their protest continued till 3 am.
However this morning, a video surfaced which showed that the wall of the ‘mazaar’ was razed with a hammer during the day time by the Waqf Board teams themselves.
This morning, DC Jaspreet Singh convened a meeting with Farooqui and Kaplish at the PAP compound, and decided to maintain status quo till all revenue records are thoroughly checked. Later, the DC called a meeting of Kaplish, DCP Jagmogan Singh, SDM Jai Inder Singh, DSO Lovejit Singh, Waqf Board members, and President of the District Table Tennis Association Viney Gupta in his office. They all were directed to visit the site and take steps to reinstate the previous position of the stadium.
Raj Kamal Chaudhary, Principal Secretary, Sports, who earlier remained posted as the Commissioner of Jalandhar Division, said, “I am fully aware of the matter. The entire compound of Hansraj Stadium is clearly a sports hub. I really do not know why the Punjab Waqf Board people or their supporters came up to stake their claim on the land that too with full police strength and sans any prior notice. I spoke to the Jalandhar DC. My staff is on the job to trace the record of court cases that we had contested on this land. Once I get all the papers tomorrow, I will be more clear to speak up on the matter”.
Viney Gupta of the TT association said he was satisfied that the officials had so far taken a decision in the interest of the sports and players.
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