25, Aug 2015
Bhagalpur survivors unimpressed by recommendation that govt return land sold by Muslims in distress
Written by Santosh Singh | Bhagalpur | Updated: August 25, 2015 3:22 am
Mohammed Javed, 48, guides The Indian Express team through Parbatti mohalla of Bhagalpur town, his return drawing looks of suspicion from his former neighbours. The frail motor mechanic stops and points at a pucca house. Back in 1989, this was where his brick-and-tile house used to be.
Javed, who had lost 12 members of his family to the Bhagalpur riots, sold his house in 1996. “My daughters were growing up and I wanted to live among Muslim families,” says Javed, who sold his plot, measuring about 1,500 square feet, to his friend Amar Kumar Rai (a Yadav) and neighbour Bhushan (a Kurmi) for Rs 80,000.
The property is worth an estimated Rs 60 lakh lakh today. Twenty-two Muslim families had sold their properties cheap and the government has now been advised to return these to the original owners. The Justice N N Singh Commission, whose report was submitted in the Bihar assembly earlier this month, has recommended that the government introduce a law to restore property sold in “distress or duress”.