Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court stayed the installaton of the tallest Jesus Christ statue in the world at Kapalabetta on Monday. The Court said that no work should be carried out without its permission, in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) that stated that the land was allotted illegally.
The petition filed by Anthony Swamy and seven others further claimed that the land was allotted in an attempt to grab government land to fulfil the selfish ends of two politicians who are operating under the cover of being guardians of the Christian community.
The order stopping the Harobele Kapalabetta Abhivruddhi Trust from carrying out the work was passed by a division bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Ashok S Kinagi. Notices were also issued to the state government and the Trust.
The petitioners stated that the Kanakapura district has a Christian population of only 2,000, of which 1,5000 reside in the Harobele and Nallahalli villages. They also alleged that KPCC chief D K Shivakumar, who was the Energy Minister in 2017, and his brother MP D K Suresh had initiated the process in February 2017 without there being any demand from the Christian community. The DK brothers had written a note to the Ramanagara Deputy Commissioner to grant 15 acres of land in Survey No. 283 of Nallahalli village for the project.
In the PIL, the petitioners wrote that the Harobele village already has a church and there is no need for another church to be built on 15 acres of land with the tallest Jesus statue. They further alleged that the DK brothers were sowing the seeds of religious disharmony by favouring a particular community in order to create a vote bank.
Additionally, the petitioners pointed out the Supreme Court has held that public property cannot be used by private persons. They then pleaded with the court to quash the government's order to grant the land to the Trust.
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