The whole affair had acquired a communal colour

In the dead of the night mystery over saints grave in Belagavi finally ends
news Wednesday, December 09, 2015 - 19:36

The discovery of a ‘grave’ in Belagavi city and which acquired a communal colour has now ended with religious leaders saying that there was no grave at the spot.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, prominent maulvis from various parts of the state inspected the structure and found that it was empty. They later held a media conference and announced that there was no grave. A group of people had earlier claimed that the grave of a saint had been unearthed.

The ‘grave’ first came to light on August 30, when Belagavi civic authorities put forward a proposal to set up a park in the Khanjar Galli area of the city. The park was to come up on land on which a building owned by the Hubli Electricity Supply Company (Hescom) stood. The ‘grave’ came up overnight after the building was demolished.

A group of Muslims claimed that the grave belonged to a saint and that it should be left untouched, and the land handed over to a body that would look after the saint’s grave.

The local unit of the BJP however, had staged a protest and alleged that there was no grave on the site. Eventually, the whole affair acquired a communal colour.

Belagavi Police Commissioner Ravi S told The News Minute that the issue had been sorted out between 1 am and 5 am on Wednesday.

“A group of maulvis and ulemas said that there is no grave there. Some mischief mongers had created a cement structure, and the DC and I took a decision to demolish it. It has been removed.”

Asked if the operations were conducted in the night to avoid a law and order problem, Ravi said that the ulemas had said that they would conduct the inspection for such a situation in the night according to their religious beliefs.

On why ulemas and not archeological experts had been asked to verify the authenticity of a ‘grave’ that was purported to be ancient, Ravi said “That (Archeological Survey of India) was the last resort. We had workable solutions in hand that have sorted out the problem. If not (we would have explored other options).”

Asked if the police would register a complaint given the serious turn that the situation had taken, Ravi said that they were looking into it and that for now, the issue had been settled.

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