Muslim families asked to vacate their homes around UP’s Gorakhnath temple

New Delhi: Gorakhpur administration has allegedly asked Muslims families to vacate their homes citing the security of Gorakhnath temple. Officials claimed the families want to leave of their own free will but the latter stated they were being pressurised to leave the place.

A consent paper has been signed by 9 Muslim families. It says they are vacating houses of their own free will for the security purpose of the temple.

However, affected families said they were asked to sign papers by local officials. India Tomorrow quoted Intizar Ahmad as saying that no notice was served to his family. “Suddenly sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) asked us to sign the consent letter. We have been asked to vacate the houses. We have not been given any written assurance on compensation,” he said.

According to IT report, some officials on 27 May visited their homes and did some measurements, and left. Locals said the officials came again on May 28 and asked the families to vacate the homes. 

A day later they again came and asked them to sign the consent letters. “We have rejected it. But they forced the head of one family to sign the document. Later they admitted their mistake,” said a family member.

On Wednesday, SDM, tehsildar, and other officials visited them again and asked them to sign the letter. They did not talk about compensation. Later they asked the families to visit the Tehsil office for further discussions.

The families, however, decided that they will not attend any meeting nor sign any document or consent letter till the government issues a formal notice.

Senior Samajwadi Party leader Zia-ul-Islam said the viral document clearly shows that people were asked to sign on plain paper. “There is no mention of any officer or department. It has no legal sanctity,” he said.

UP Congress Minority wing chairman Shahnawaz Alam slammed the state’s Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for the same. “He should know that Nawab Asifuddin was a Muslim who donated land to the temple. So far, BJP leaders and ministers were occupying lands and now the CM too has embarked on this journey. This is not illegal but against the tenets of religion,” he said.

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