Handover 600 years old Dargah to Hindus: Court tells Muslims in UP

The dargah of Sufi saint Badruddin Shah is situated in Barnawa village of Baghpat district and is 600 years old.

Baghpat: The Baghpat District Court in Uttar Pradesh recently rejected a decades-old petition filed by a group of Muslims seeking ownership of a site that includes a graveyard and the dargah of Sufi saint Sheikh Badruddin Shah.

The court, led by Civil Judge Shivam Dwivedi, not only dismissed the plea but also issued an order instructing the Muslim side to hand over the dargah to Hindus.

The dargah of Sufi saint Badruddin Shah is situated in Barnawa village of Baghpat district and is 600 years old.

The disputes surrounding the site began 53 years ago when a group of Hindus claimed that it was the location of the ‘Lakshagriha’ mentioned in the Mahabharata.

According to Hindu legend, Lakshagriha is a palace built by Duryodhana to burn the Pandavas to death.

In 1970, the dargah caretaker, Mukeem Khan, approached the court, alleging that a Hindu mob had trespassed inside the dargah and attempted to offer prayers.

His petition aimed to establish ownership of the land, ensure legal protection against Hindu encroachment, prevent desecration of graves, and halt ‘havan’ ceremonies conducted on the premises.

Krishnadutt Maharaj, a local Hindu priest, was named as a defendant in the case.

Mukeem Khan, a resident of Barnawa, filed the petition in a Meerut court in the capacity of an office bearer of the Waqf Board. Later, the case was transferred to the court in Baghpat.

After five decades, the court made the decision, giving preference to the ‘Lakshagriha’ claim reignited by Hindu nationalists in the recent past.

The Muslim side argued that the Sufi saint’s tomb was 600 years old, and the graveyard was established later after his death.

However, the court emphasised a technical loophole — whether the disputed site was designated as a ‘waqf property’ or a ‘graveyard’ in 1920, which the Muslim side failed to establish.

Ranveer Singh Tomar, the advocate for the respondents in the petition, stated, “We presented all the evidence of Lakshagriha in court based on which the court rejected the petition of the Muslim side.”

Advocate Shahid Khan, representing the case on behalf of the petitioners, mentioned their intention to move to a higher court and present their case.

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