Christian community files PIL in HC for cemetery

April 2, 2017 by  
Filed under newsletter-india, Persecution

Mumbai, April 02, 2017: United Christian Community Centre (UCCC), a trust calling itself to be looking after the interest of the Christian community — all its denominations — has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the High Court for a cemetery.

The PIL seeks court orders to have a cemetery in the eastern side of the western suburbs between Dahisar and Khar, which the petitioners said that has not been provided despite pleas with authorities for the past 20 years.

The PIL was filed on March 24, 2017 and is likely to be heard on April 7, 2017.

In their plea, they have said that such a cemetery will be for all the denomination of the Christian community. In the PIL, the petitioners also demand that one cemetery be reserved in every municipal or at least in one legislative assembly constituency.

“There are no burial grounds allotted to the Christian community on the eastern side of the western suburbs from Dahisar to Khar, which is at a distance of approximately 25 kms. Ideally the community should have been allotted a cremation ground in every corporator ward or assembly constituency in accordance with the composite cemetery policy of the BMC,” said Simon Serrao, trustee of UCCC.

As per the petition, around the year 1998, the BMC had allotted a plot for the Christian community in Akurli Village, Kandivili east as a part of their composite cemetery policy. However, in the PIL they state that BMC had not built any boundary wall to separate the Muslim and the Christian Burial Ground and it was lost.

In the year 2012, another plot in a village in Malad was identified and reserved in the development plan. This plot ended up being a disputed property on which suit of 2011 is pending before High Court. The petitioner and the BMC intervened in the matter. However, nothing yet has happened in spite of the plot and the community. As per the petition, another plot was identified and reserved in 2016 in Goregaon (east) in Aarey for composite cemetery but there is nallah and two built up structures besides the plot layout being changed.

“In January 2017, the state agriculture, dairy and fisheries department cancelled the allotment and release of reserved Christian cemetery land at Aarey Colony Goregaon (E) highway next to Muslim and Hindu cemeteries.

There is no reason why the reservation should have been cancelled,” Cynthia Correa, resident Jogeshwari east and member of UCCC who said that they have to travel long distances to bury their dead.

“We want the court to give directive to the BMC to change the route of nallah, ensure that the two structures are not in the plot of land allotted for burial and the ground be given to us soon in Goregaon. Hindus and Muslims are already allotted land and their cemeteries are functional. It is basic human right and it should be given to us soon. Agriculture and dairy has not been given to us,” added Simon.

– dna

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