In an important decision, the Karnataka High Court directed the removal of the illegally built Christian cross and Jesus statue on government land. The cross and Jesus statue were illegally constructed on government agricultural land at Susai Palia Hill in Chikballapur, Karnataka.
A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the High Court of Karnataka against the construction of this illegal cross and Jesus statue located on government agricultural land [Gomala]. After considering the PIL, the High Court directed the removal of the illegal cross and statue of Jesus with immediate effect, which was done under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner Raghunandan, SP Mithun Kumar of Chikballapur and Tahsildar Tulsi.
Revealing the details about the operation, Assistant Commissioner Raghunandan said that the operation was carried out as directed by the Karnataka High Court, and it was found that this statue and Cross were illegally built on government land, reported Udayavani.
A large number of Christian protesters also gathered to stop the demolition of the Cross, and hundreds of policemen also had to be employed to remove them.
However this is not surprising, incidents of occupation of government or non-government land by religious organizations are very common in these areas, especially in areas like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala.
For example, just a few months ago in July, some Church clergymen were arrested for forcing Scheduled Castes from Dorasanipalli village in Andhra Pradesh’s Kadapa district out of their homes.
The Legal Rights Protection Forum then approached the National Commission for Scheduled Castes and petitioned the District Collector to take action against the church administration. As a result, illegal construction was stopped, something which TFI has also covered in the past.
Last year, Organiser reported that a church with the alleged help of the communist government of Kerala was found encroaching the ‘sacred forests’ associated with the Sabarimala temple.
The manner in which the Karnataka administration has busted the racket by Christian organizations to illegally occupy government land is commendable. However, the fact that the Karnataka High Court ordered the removal of the statue is a tight slap on the face of the Christian evangelists.