Shakhadri moves SC, says govt trying to oust him from Bababudangiri shrine

Delhi: The religious head of the disputed cave shrine of Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swamy dargah in Chikkamagaluru district has approached the Supreme Court against the alleged attempts by the Karnataka government to oust him from the place.

He claimed the state government was making a persistent bid to keep him away from performing religious functions or participate in the annual ‘urs’ there in March.

In an application, ‘Sajjada Nasheen’ Syed Ghouse Mohiyuddin Shakhadri contended that the state government violated the apex court’s direction of September 3, 2015, to maintain status quo in terms of the order passed by Karnataka’s Commissioner for

Religious and Charitable Endowments on February 25, 1989.

Despite various representations, the state government has also restrained him from visiting the tombs of his deceased parents, he claimed in an application filed by advocate Neela Gokhale.

The ‘dargah’ at Chikkamagaluru is visited and venerated by thousands of Hindus and Muslims alike but there have been demands for its “liberation” on the grounds that it was a temple of Lord Dattatreya.

The court had earlier asked Karnataka’s Cabinet to decide the issue after taking consideration of the report of the Commissioner for Religious and Charitable Endowments and hearing the parties including the ‘Sajjada Nasheen.’

On Wednesday, advocate Gokhale mentioned the application before a bench presided over by Chief Justice J S Khehar for urgent hearing. The court, however, said the application would come up for consideration in due course.

The state government in 2013 had maintained that there was no existence of any mosque near the disputed cave shrine of Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swamy dargah in Chikkamagaluru.

In a fresh plea, the ‘Sajjada Nasheen’ claimed that despite having given an assurance to the apex court that they will resolve the long-pending issue, the state government has completely left the matter sine die.

“However, at the same time, the state administration is permitting and aiding certain other communities to celebrate their religious ceremonies and functions. Though the petitioner has no grievance in any community performing their religious activities, the same state administration was duty bound to treat all persons of all communities equally and allow him to exercise his religious freedom,” he contended.

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