The city of Krishna where 80% is Muslim population: Mosques and shrines were built by occupying land worth 6.5 crores, Karachi 2 hours away

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5 minutes agoWriter: Akshay Bajpai

Bet Dwarka is also known as Bhent Dwarka. It is believed that this is the place where Sudama came to meet Shri Krishna and his poverty ended. However, now the situation is such that there are fewer temples and more mosques and shrines in the area. The population of this island is 12,000, out of which 80% i.e. about 9,500 are Muslims.

Bet Dwarka, situated 35 km away from Krishna’s city Dwarka, is still far away from the election noise. In the first week of October, the silence here was broken by the noise of JCB. During this, more than 100 encroachments were removed. There were also many mosques and tombs in these. The cost of this captured land is Rs 6.5 crore.

The government broke the encroachment in Bet Dwarka by running a campaign for two weeks. Its debris is still lying at the same place. Some people say that despite having papers, their houses were demolished.

Mosques and shrines have been built on the sea shore, don’t know who built them
Many mosques and shrines were built in Bet Dwarka by cutting the forest very close to the sea. Even the people living here for many years do not know who made them and when. 80% of the people here are involved in the fish business. People go by boat to the international border. There is no account of how many and who is coming back.

The distance from here to Karachi is around 105 km. Pakistan can be reached in two to three hours by sea route. Many girls living in Bet Dwarka have been married in Pakistan and many girls from Pakistan have settled here after getting married.

Amidst the election coverage in Dwarka, I found many people talking about the razed encroachment in Bet Dwarka. I told my friend that let’s visit Bet Dwarka and come, he refused to go. Said – I will arrange someone, you go with them.

No one can go to the encroached place without the permission of the police.
I hired a bike from Dwarka and left for Bet Dwarka. Tausif’s brother, who had given me the bike on rent, was with me. He was driving the bike, I was sitting behind. When we talked to him on the way, he said that people’s houses were demolished here and mosques and shrines were also demolished. When I asked why this happened, he said that he does not know.

Jeetu Ba from Mithapur village also joined us on the way. Jeetu is a local journalist and reports exclusively from the villages situated on the sea coast. We reached Okha Jetty in about 50 minutes. The Arabian Sea begins after Okha. All three of us boarded the boat along with the devotees going to see Lord Krishna. Bet reached Dwarka Island in 20 minutes.

Bet Dwarka can be reached only by boat.  100 to 150 people can go in a boat.  Every passenger going by boat has to pay a fare of 20 rupees.

Bet Dwarka can be reached only by boat. 100 to 150 people can go in a boat. Every passenger going by boat has to pay a fare of 20 rupees.

Companion Jeetu told that without the permission of the police, we would not be able to reach the spot from where the encroachment was removed. No one has visited those places so far because no one knows the location. Even during the action to remove the encroachment, the police used to take the media to one or two spots only and after showing something, used to leave them back.

SI said talk to DSP, DSP said – I will tell after talking to SP
After this we reached Bet Dwarka Marine Police Station to seek permission. An SI and a jawan were present there. He said that you talk to the Deputy SP, only after that you will be able to go ahead. When we called DSP Sameer Sarda, he said that I will tell you after talking to the SP.

When I called SP Nitish Pandey, he asked for my ID card on WhatsApp. After waiting for about an hour, the DSP allowed to proceed with the condition that a jawan would accompany you and you would not have to interview anyone.

Bet Dwarka Marine Police Station is just adjacent to Dwarkadhish Temple.  It is from here that permission is granted to go to the encroached place.

Bet Dwarka Marine Police Station is just adjacent to Dwarkadhish Temple. It is from here that permission is granted to go to the encroached place.

Encroachment broken after survey, debris still on the spot
Then we went towards the spot with a young man, a city police officer. Must have walked only about a kilometer and came to the place where the encroachments were removed. Their debris is still lying here.

Dharmesh Joshi, who has been living in Bet Dwarka for many years and is now a part of the Police’s Municipal Service Committee, was also with us. I asked why this action happened? So said – We have been living here for so many years, but we did not even know that so many mosques and shrines have been built on the seashore.

When the administration got the survey done, it came to know that encroachment has taken place on a large scale. Most of the tombs were built very close to the sea. No one came to know who made it and when.

After taking some photos and videos of the spot, we proceeded towards the township. There we found Sultan driving the auto. The Sultan’s house was also demolished for being illegal. He told that right now I am living in a hut. The administration broke the houses of all those who did not have city survey numbers. I had papers that are 550 years old, I showed them, but the officials said they are not valid.

Gujarat Tourism Minister Purnesh Modi had tweeted on the removal of the encroachment, which he later deleted. He wrote that according to the satellite image taken in 2005, there were 6 mosques here. Now this figure has increased to 78. It includes mosque, mazar and dargah. Most are illegal and built on government land.

In 1945, the Gaekwad dynasty ruling here had given a space of 20 by 20 to the Muslims. According to the 1960 census, there were 600 Muslim voters and 2,786 Hindu voters. According to the time, the population of Hindus should have been 6000 and that of Muslims 1200, but Hindus reduced to 960 and the number of Muslims reached 6040.

According to Purnesh Modi, many girls living in Bet Dwarka have been married in Pakistan. Pakistani girls are married here. Evidence of smuggling links has also been found here.

Houses in Bet Dwarka, where the boat goes directly
At night I met an RSS leader from Dwarka. He took me to the beach to explain the geographical location. Said- Most of the people living on the island do fish business. They go by boat to the international border. There is no account of how many come back and who is coming from there.

Some houses in the island are built in such a way that the boat goes inside. Now the officers also know what and how it comes, but everyone is silent after getting the commission. This time there were orders directly from the Centre, so action has been taken. At present, bulldozers have been run only on 40% encroachment. After the elections, the elimination can start again, because this island is becoming a threat to the country.

Sunni Waqf Board has claimed two islands
In December 2021, the Sunni Waqf Board staked its claim on two islands of Bet Dwarka. On this, the Gujarat High Court asked how you can claim Krishna Nagri and dismissed the petition. We spoke to MH Khumar, Chief Executive Officer, Gujarat Waqf Board, on breaking the encroachment in Bet Dwarka.

They said that we have nothing to say about this. He rejected the point of claiming the board on the island and termed it as a rumour.

Drug smuggling from Pakistan, investigation with NIA
Fish trader Ramzan Gani Palani is among those whose houses and shops were vandalized in Bet Dwarka. Ramzan was arrested in 2019 in connection with the seizure of 236 kg of drugs worth Rs 500 crore from the Jakhau coast of Kutch. Apart from Ramzan, the NIA had also included the names of 6 people from Pakistan in its charge sheet.

All the Pakistanis came to the Indian border through a ship called Al Madina. The captain of the boat had admitted to throwing some bags along with the satellite phone into the sea. 211 packets of heroin were seized from the ship. It was to be handed over to Ramzan. Ramzan’s son Javed is also lodged in a Pakistani jail on charges of smuggling.

Ramzan had occupied 5 thousand square feet of land. He made shops here. All these shops were on the sea shore. According to DSP Sameer Sarda, trust was instilled in the people by first building a tomb in this area. The game of possession started under his guise.

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