A 300-year-old temple was demolished in Rajgarh town of Alwar district of Rajasthan. This was done during an anti-encroachment drive in the town, as a part of which around 150 shops and buildings were also razed.
What is interesting is that even as the opposition BJP tried to rake up the matter, the Congress hit back and turned the spotlight on the fact that the Rajgarh municipality is controlled by the BJP and the decision had been taken by its board. The state government had nothing to do with the demolition drive, it claimed.
Alwar collector Nakate Shivprasad Madan said the proposal was passed by the Nagar Palika board and the action was taken in accordance with the decision of the local administration in the presence of police.
"In the meeting of the board headed by its chairman, a proposal to remove encroachments was passed. The executive officer accordingly issued notices and then the demolition was done," the collector said.
Rajgarh SDM Keshav Meena said the Nagar Palika's executive officer had issued notices to 86 people on April 6 to remove encroachments from the road and they were given time.
The action of demolition of over 100 structures was taken on April 17 and 18, he added.
He further said one temple was completely demolished but the owners of the temples had removed the idols.
The second temple was partially demolished but its sanctum sanctorum is safe, he added.
"The one-km stretch of the road is 50 to 54 feet wide in the master plan but it had been reduced to 25-28 feet at present due to encroachments. Encroachments from half of the road were removed earlier and the remaining encroachments were demolished on Sunday and Monday," SDM Meena said.
Other encroachments were mainly due to shops, he added.
This came after a similar anti-encroachment drive carried out by the BJP ruled North Municipal Corporation of Delhi in the national capital's Jahangirpuri area on April 20.
However, the Supreme Court ordered a status quo on the demolition drive, restraining the authorities from proceeding any further. Although, it took at least another 90 minutes for the local body to stop the demolition drive, citing the non-receipt of any order from the top court.
The demotion drive came on a few days after nine people were injured in clashes that broke out between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession in the same area.
Meanwhile, news anchor Aman Chopra on his show asked if temple demolition in Rajasthan's Alwar was Jahangirpuri's "revenge".
A video of the same is going viral on social media in which Chopra is heard saying, "Jahangirpuri vala badla, Mahadev pe hamla."
In the meantime, #ArrestAmanChopra also began trending on Twitter.
"Dangerous . Anti national . Sedition act should be used against him #ArrestAmanChopra," tweeted filmmaker Onir.
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