The fight over Mahatma Gandhi in Kochi, one side lead by a former HC judge
news Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 05:30
Haritha John | January 28, 2015 | 7.30 pm IST The Kochi District collectorâ€™s recent decision to shift the Gandhi statue to make way for the Kochi Metro, positioned in the compound of Gandhi Bhavan has lead to an acrimonious battle between two organisations, both based on Gandhian ideology. The Gandhi Bhavan Committee (GBC) that runs the Gandhi Bhavan has allowed for the statue to be moves, but this decision has not gone down well with another organisation, Gandhi Peace foundation (GPF), which obstructed the move on Monday. Since Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) has taken over Gandhi Bhavan premises for metro construction, the committee had given permission to remove the statue from the compound. The Gandhi Peace foundation, however, claims that Gandhi Bhavan doesnâ€™t have the power to take decisions alone and alleged ulterior motives behind the incident. GPF Chairman and former High court judge P K Shamsuddeen alleged that land where Gandhi Bhavan situated was first allotted for GPF. â€śThe Gandhi Bhavan Committee was formed for constructing the building. The building is in their name but was built for usâ€ť he said â€śGPF was the parent organisation. GBC was formed for the upliftment of GPF, but later they claimed themselves as an autonomous body and started taking decisions aloneâ€ť he added However GBC has declared that GPF has nothing to with Gandhi Bhavan or its assets. â€śGPF has no authority over Gandhi Bhavan. We are no way related to each otherâ€ť Ramachandran Nair one of GBC's members said. Earlier divergent stands taken by these Gandhian organisations had complicated the handing over Gandhi Bhavanâ€™s land for Kochi Metro. GBC, which owns 22 cents of land and a multi-storied building at Kacheripady, wants the KMRL to fully take over the premises since metro will cut through the centre of the building. But the GPF that had an office on the premises wanted only eight cents of land to be taken over. This opinion clashes had earlier created a huge issue in February 2014. There were also conflicts between the Gandhi followers over the compensation amount of land acquisition that the District administration had handed over the compensation worth around Rs. 1 crore to GBC not to GPF. According to Shamsuddeen Munsif Court has agreed to GPFâ€™s claim and ordered to give the compensation amount to GPF since it was the parent organisation. â€śRecently, the court had agreed to all our claims. Court ordered them to bring back the compensation amount and it had declared GPF as the real and parent organisationâ€ť Shamsuddheen said Tweet
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