The Delhi High Court Friday restrained Shia Muslim group Anjuman-e-Haideri from holding protest at the Karbala in south Delhi March 31 in a dispute over a piece of land which is currently housing two nurseries.
Justice Manmohan said a protest can be held at designated places like Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Maidan after taking permission from the Delhi Police.
The court's direction came after a resident of the nearby B.K. Dutt Colony and the Delhi police rushed for directions to bar all protest in an and around Jor Bagh after a public declaration was made for a demonstration March 31.
During the hearing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sidharth Luthra assisted by counsel Rajiv Nanda told the high court that the "issue was of serious concern particularly in light of the upcoming Lok Sabha election".
Prohibiting all protest at Karbala was necessary as it could rapidly translate into communal tension in the capital, Luthra said.
In the past few years, there have been repeated disputes between two groups over the plot of land where currently two nurseries are functioning - Rajdhani Nursery and Evergreen Nursery.
The Anjuman-e-Haiderihas contended that the land on which the nurseries are functioning is part of the Karbala land and disputes the possession of the owners of the nurseries. The subject matter of disputed claims between the parties have been referred to arbitration.
Hundreds of people, including children and women, from a community gathered at the Karbala land in Jor Bagh area earlier this month and staged a protest.
The petitioner referring to the March 10 violent protests at Delhi-UP border said: "These protests were violent and communal in nature, and have led to widespread disruption of public order, including burning of vehicles on NH24, long traffic jams and destruction of public property of various kinds."
The plea also sought direction to the government to take immediate steps to prevent "further acts of violence in and around the Karbala land." The court also issued notices to the Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung, Delhi Police and Anjuman-e-Haideri on the pleas.