Patna: Bihar government has asked the authorities of all 38 districts in the state to ensure the registration of around 4000 unregistered temples, mutts, and trusts in the state within three months, Bihar Law Minister, Shamim Ahmad has said.
Large-scale irregularities have been found as priests of many temples and mutts in the state have transferred or sold land, he said. The Bihar government will also soon start the process of fencing all registered temples in the state to prevent the land of registered temples and mutts from encroachment.
All public temples/mutts, trusts, and dharamshalas in Bihar must be registered with BSBRT, according to the Bihar Hindu Religious Trusts Act, 1950, he said. Registration is mandatory to protect the properties, including land, of temples from unauthorized claims.
“Despite repeated reminders by the authority concerned there are still 4000 unregistered public temples, mutts and trusts that are running in almost all districts in the state. They must get themselves registered with the Bihar State Board of Religious Trust (BSBRT) within three months. I am sending a letter to all district magistrates to ensure that all such unregistered bodies in their respective districts are registered within three months”, Bihar Law Minister, Shamim Ahmad, told PTI on Saturday.
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BSBRT is under the law department of the Bihar government.
“The state government will be forced to take steps if unregistered temples, mutts and trusts fail to get themselves registered within the stipulated period,” he said.
“If required a certain portion of MLA Area Development Fund can be used for fencing some registered temples and trusts if they do not have enough money. In that situation MLAs will have to give a list of registered public temples and trusts that require fencing of their respective areas to the department concerned,” he said. The total number of registered temples is around 3002 in the state, according to the BSBRT data and they own more than 18,500 acres of land. According to the latest data received from 35 districts and compiled by BSBRT, there are around 4055 unregistered temples and mutts in the state and they together own more than 4400 acres.
“As per the data received from districts administration, a maximum number of unregistered temples/mutts are in Muzaffarpur (433), Samastipur (272), Darbhanga (259), East Champaran (226), Bhagalpur (210), Vaishali (209), Sitamarhi (203), Rohtash (210), Bhojpur (197), Begusarai (170), Nalanda (159) and Saran (154) etc”, the BSBRT data says.