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Baghpat Court Rejects Claim of Mahabharat-Era Site as Graveyard or Dargah

  • Posted on February 12, 2024
  • News

A Baghpat court in Uttar Pradesh dismissed a 53-year-old suit over the disputed 'Lakshagriha-Mazar' site, claimed by Muslims as a graveyard and Hindus as a Mahabharata-era structure. The judge found insufficient evidence to declare it a graveyard, rejecting claims from both sides.

Baghpat Court Rejects Claim of Mahabharat-Era Site as Graveyard or Dargah Image Source

In a recent judicial decision, a court in Baghpat district, Uttar Pradesh, resolved a longstanding dispute over the classification of a site known as 'Lakshagriha' from the Mahabharata era. The conflict arose between Muslim petitioners, who argued for its designation as a graveyard and dargah (tomb) of Sufi saint Sheikh Badruddin Shah, and Hindu petitioners, who claimed it as the ancient structure Lakshagriha.

Civil Judge Shivam Dwivedi presided over the case, which spanned 53 years. The essence of the dispute centered on more than 108 bighas of land in Barnawa village. The Muslim petitioners, represented by Mukim Khan, the caretaker of the dargah, filed the suit in April 1970. They contended that unauthorized construction by Hindus threatened the sanctity of the site. Khan asserted that the tomb dated back 600 years and that a graveyard had subsequently been established there, declared waqf property by a historical ruler.

Contrarily, the Hindu petitioners, led by Krishnadutt Ji Maharaj, claimed the site's significance in Hindu mythology. They argued that it was the Lakshagriha, built by Duryodhan, a character from the epic Mahabharata, to eliminate the Pandavas.

The court's decision, however, did not favor either party's claims entirely. Judge Dwivedi stated that the evidence presented failed to conclusively prove the entire area as a graveyard or dargah, despite some graves being present. As a result, the suit seeking to declare the disputed property as a kabristan/graveyard was not permitted.

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Moreover, the demand for injunction against the Hindu petitioners and the request for the removal of unauthorized constructions were also dismissed due to insufficient evidence. The court deemed it necessary to maintain the status quo at the disputed site until a more substantial case could be presented.

This legal resolution marks the conclusion of a decades-long contention over the historical and religious significance of the disputed site in Baghpat. Despite the dismissal of the suit, tensions may persist between the two communities, each vying for recognition of their respective beliefs regarding the site's heritage.

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