Additional security deployed to Aurangzeb's tomb after MNS threats to destroy it

At least half a dozen police personnel were deployed outside the Aurangzeb tomb on Tuesday, hours after MNS leader Gajanan Kale called for destroying it

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Wednesday, May 18, 2022, 09:36 AM IST
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Aurangzeb's Tomb, with marble jaali (latticed screen) around it | Wikimedia Commons

The Maharashtra government on Tuesday ordered deployment of additional security outside the tomb of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb in Aurangabad after the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) threatened to destroy it.

At least half a dozen police personnel were deployed outside the Aurangzeb tomb on Tuesday, hours after MNS leader Gajanan Kale called for destroying it.

Notably, AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi's recent visit to the tomb was criticised by the ruling Shiv Sena in the state as well as the Raj Thackeray-led MNS.

On Twitter, Kale asked what was the need to have the Mughal ruler's tomb in the land of Shivaji. He said if the tomb is destroyed, Aurangzeb's descendants would not visit the place to bow their heads and pay homage.

Claiming that this was the wish of Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray, Gajanan Kale said, "Don't you want to follow what Balasaheb said? You have already reversed your stand on changing the name of Aurangabad."

After this tweet, some people in Khultabad area, where the tomb is located, tried to lock the structure, which is protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

When contacted, ASI's Aurangabad circle superintendent Milan Kumar Chauley told PTI that some people tried to lock the tomb, claiming there was a threat of it being vandalised.

"But, I said unless anything is given to the ASI in writing, I shall not act on it. We have kept the monument open and have added four more security guards there. We also conveyed about the situation to police and they sent a security van there," he said.

Days after Owaisi's visit to the tomb earlier this month, NCP chief Sharad Pawar had wondered if such an act was aimed at creating a new controversy in Maharashtra which is functioning peacefully.

Aurangzeb, known as the last of the 'Great Mughals', ruled for nearly 49 years until his death in 1707 AD. In the last two decades of his life, Aurangzeb tried to gain control over the Deccan, which brought him into direct conflict with the Marathas.

A highly polarising ruler in Indian history, he is also accused of ordering the execution of Sambhaji, the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj.

(with inputs from agencies)

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