Mumbai: Christian community in legal battle to attain land for graveyard

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MUMBAI: (Christian Times) – Mumbai High Court on Monday said that the Maharashtra government was being discriminatory towards the Christian community because it had been denying the community a land in the Western suburbs of Mumbai. Christian community had officially appealed before the provincial government for this land but they were told that their allotment had been annulled.

Mumbai is among those cities of India where land is fast becoming scarce for the graveyards. That is why people from the minority communities also have started getting their loved ones burnt after death instead of burying them. This has become a common practice especially in the Western areas. Meanwhile, the allocation and cementing of graves at the churches in Mumbai has also been limited. Christian communities have repeatedly voiced their concern before the authorities but to no avail.

Mumbai’s United Christian Group had filed an appeal eight years ago to be provided with land for a graveyard near a Hindu cemetery and a Muslim graveyard. The authorities had told them that their appeal would soon be accepted but the wait never came to an end and people of another community started using this land as a graveyard. When the Christians raised this issue with the vice president of Maharashtra Minority Community Jennet d’Souza in 2014, they were told that they could not pick a fight with that other community for the graveyard. Finally, the Christian community has decided to fight a legal battle for attaining this land for the graveyard.