Hindus, Muslims in MP Settle 25-year-old Land Dispute

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Indore: Hindus and Muslims in Madhya Pradesh have in a precedent-setting act, resolved through mutual agreement a land dispute that had evaded a judicial solution for the past 25 years. The dispute related to a plot of vacant land lying between a Hindu temple and an Imambara of the Lakhera Muslim community in Betma town in Indore district. “Both the Hindu and the Muslim communities were claiming the vacant land as their own,” said Rajkumar Yadav, station house officer (SHO) of Betma police station. For 25 years, the dispute had remained unresolved, and currently lay pending with the Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, he said. Tired of the lengthy judicial process and no immediate resolution in sight, the two communities finally decided to sit together and thrash out a solution to the vexed problem. The matter was settled within a matter of days after the two communities decided to meet across the table and sort out the contentious issues with mutual understanding and accommodation. The Hindu community was represented by Dharmvir Singh Chauhan, also president of the town council, and the Lakhera Muslim community by Haji Faqeer Mohammad Sheikh — both met twice before making way for other community leaders to reach the much desired consensus. According to the agreement reached between the two communities, 1,395 sq.ft. of the 2,160 sq.ft vacant land would be turned over to the Sheetala Mata temple and the remainder to the Imambara of the Lakhera Muslim community, said Yadav. Following the resolution, the two communities decided to withdraw the court case, get the land registered in accordance with the agreement.