Maharashtra Gad Durg Rakshan Samiti on Friday organised a rally from Metro Cinema and culminated at Azad Maidan seeking removal of encroachments from various forts in the state.
Right wing groups call upon CM to make forts encroachment-free
The Samiti, a group of right wing organisations like Hindu Jan Jagruti, Samast Hind Bandhu, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Shiv Pratishthan among others, called upon the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde to ensure that the encroachments are removed and they be restored to their old glory.
The rally saw 500 participants, who, the organisers claimed, traced their lineage to Tanaji Malusare and Bajirao Deshpande. “First a dargah comes up and then a masjid,” said Sandeep Deshpande, who the organisers introduced as a descendant of Bajirao Deshpande, a warrior from Shivaji's army.
'Eknath Shinde met us last September, but nothing happened'
“Over 50 forts across Maharashtra are encroached. We demand that they be removed and officers from the Archaeological Survey of India be taken to task even if they are retired,” said Sunil Ghanwat, convenor of the rally and member of Hindu Jan Jagruti. The encroachments, said the organisers, were at Colaba, Malanggad, Mahim, Sion, Lohagad, Vishal Gad and Chandan Gad.
“At various places they have made dargahs and then later masjids come up," said Ashutosh Jha, one of the speakers. The forts, speakers said, were not being restored to their earlier glory despite a Hindutva government in place. “In September last year, Eknath Shinde came and met us. But still nothing has happened,” said Ravindra Padwal of Samast Hindu Bandhu.
The participants raised slogans, calling for 'Islamic Atikraman' (Islamic encroachment) to be removed from the forts. “Our rally is against all encroachments including the Islamic encroachments,” claimed Ghanvat, even though latter was more prominent. .
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