Bihar Government to declare 30,000 acres of land belonging to temples and Mutts as ‘public property’ !

The lands will remain under the control of the Government, they say. The move is intended to curb illegal encroachment on these lands and their sale, Government claims. Priests protest decision.

Editorial comments

  • The Waqf Board also has thousands of acres of land in the country as well as in the State of Bihar which has been encroached upon. Then why doesn’t the Government dare to declare those lands as public properties ? Or is it targeting the lands of Hindu Mutts and temples just because it is a soft target ?
  • Hindus do not expect their temple land to be taken over by the Government in this way, especially when Bihar is ruled by a coalition Government of Janata Dal (United) and BJP !
  • The Uttarakhand Government revoked the takeover of 51 temples, including Char Dham, due to opposition from priests. Given this, the Bihar Government should repeal its decision as well as the 4% tax levied on public temples !
  • Will the Bihar Government guarantee that the land will not be encroached upon or sold if it comes under the control of the Government ? Will the Bihar Government take note of the fact that temples and their lands were encroached upon and sold while in the possession of the Western Maharashtra Devasthan Management Committee in Maharashtra ?
  • The Government does not even utter a word about taking action against the encroachers ! Is it not a kind of Government-backed encroachment to take possession of the land which has been encroached upon, rather than taking action against the encroachers ? Bihar Government’s solution is worse than the problem itself !
  • Hindus should make every effort to uphold and prove the proverb – ‘Temples are the foundations of the Nation’ !

Patna (Bihar) – The Bihar Government recently decided to declare 30,000 acres of land of Mutts and temples registered or affiliated with the Bihar State Religious Trust Board as public property. Association of priests threatened to march the streets to protest if the decision is not revoked. Only 4,200 of the many temples and Mutts found in the State have been recorded with the State Religious Trust Board.

State Law Minister Pramod Kumar said,

The move is meant to remove illegal encroachment and sale of these lands. The Religious Trust Board has learnt that Mutts and temples in 36 Districts have more than 30,000 acres of land. A significant part of these lands was heavily encroached upon. In some cases, the lands of Mutts and temples have already been sold.

There have been many cases of cheating naive buyers, who did not know that the land of Mutts and temples cannot be sold by any individual. By the time buyers learn the truth, the sellers disappear from the scene. Hence, we have made it clear that the lands of Mutts and temples are owned by the Deity of the shrine and that it should be declared public land. Any transaction of sale or purchase of such land by any individual is illegal. Besides, efforts are being made to bring all other Mutts and temples under the purview of the Religious Trust Board.

Hand over the responsibility of managing the lands of Mutts and temples to the priests ! – Demand by priests’ Association

The association of priests said they will not accept Government control on the land of the shrines. The decision to declare the land of Mutts and temples as public land is not in good taste. Their management should be given to the priests of the shrines.