Hundreds of plots in towns and cities have fallen prey to illegal
religious structures constructed by Christian Missionaries and Mullahs.
With no dearth in funds, they are on a lookout to encroach lands that
does not belong to them and government lands have been their prime
target. However, the disease that started in Kerala has spread to other
states in the southern India. The Mullah-Missionary nexus is forcing its
way into our forest lands thereby endangering the longevity of our
natural resources and green cover. Recently Organiser had reported the encroachment of forest land in Kurnool, AP
() and how the intervention of Legal Rights Protection Forum forced the
forest department to stop the construction of the church. But seems
that they have not learned any lessons. Two new instances have been
reported of similar encroachments, one in Telangana and the other in
Andhra Pradesh. Masjid erected on forest land in Bhadrachalam forest area Manugur
forest area in Bhadrachalam is the latest target of the Islamic
demagogues. Recently a Makeshift Masjid came up in the forest land in
Manugur. After a few day, the Mullahs backed by rabid Islamists in the
area attempted to construct a permanent structure. They even named the
masjid as ‘Masjid Khuba’. Attempts to create a fake narrative about the
place were already afoot. Given the Muslim appeasing attitude of the
Telangana government, once the structure would have been completed it
would have been difficult to take it down.
Illegal Masjid was erected Manugur forest area in Bhadrachalam
Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) immediately approached the Conservator of Forests of Bhadradri Kothagudem District in Telangana and registered a formal complaint on July 9th, 2019. The complaint provided the details of the location and the photos of the structure. Based on the complaint by LRPF, the illegal structure was brought down by the forest officials on July 10th with police protection. Timely intervention by a vigilant forum nipped the problem in the bud. However, the Mullahs who designed to encroach were not to take this lying down. After the Masjid was brought down, they assembled a mob of Muslims from nearby villages who rushed to the spot and staged protest against the forest officials. They even demanded their arrest for having brought down their religious structure. With law on their side, the forest officials did not budge and the mob was dispersed soon. Missionaries trespass into forest land start constructing a Church In June, 2019, LRPF learned of a Church being constructed by the Evangelists at Yetapaka village of East Godavari District which is near to Bhadrachalam, a famous pilgrimage for the people of the two Telugu States. A Cross was also installed in front of the Church that was being constructed.
Initially the Missionaries constructed a roof-top with cement base and erected a Cross in front of it. After noticing this encroachment, LRPF filed a formal complaint to AP Forest Vigilance Department, AP Principal Secretary (Forests) and Divisional Forest officer of Chintur detailing the location and the structure. The complaint sought that these structure be dismantled and the forest land be cleared of such illegal constructions. After continuous follow up, on 9th July, 2019, the AP Forest officials arrived at the site and removed the illegally constructed Cross at the encroached site. The forest officials have also assured that the remaining construction (roof with cement base) would be utilized by Forest department for their official purpose. However, AS Santosh, Working President of LRPF informs Organiser that such construction cannot happen in a day and the Missionaries have certainly cut down many trees to accommodate their illegal structure. Santosh informs us that the audacity of the Missionaries was such that they had even taken electricity connection for the construction illegaly. LRPF mentions the same in their complaint to AP Forest Vigilance Department and also highlights the fact that this shows the strong intention and conspiracy behind such repeated illegal occupation of the forest lands and that they took advantage of the lack of proper monitoring by forest authorities.
Biggest Threat to our Forests
Unless strong action is taken against such trespassing and encroachments by the forest department and officials, many others will be inspired to commit similar crimes in the name of religion, says Santosh. There is a doubt whether the forest officials have even registered an FIR in these cases. Forest are our biggest natural resource and provide the much needed green cover. Our forests are already under pressure from the mining and sand lobby. They are now faced with a new enemy – the Mullah Missionary nexus, who are out to encroach our forest lands for their nefarious purposes. If not controlled by law, it can blow our of proportions and threaten our natural resource. Already facing water crisis, our country will be forced to remain in the third world if we lose our forests to such encroachments.