Hindu Janajagruti Samiti’s campaign to protect forts in Maharashtra : Representations submitted

HJS has warned that if the ASI and administration do not remove encroachments in the forts, it will start an agitation !

Some Muslim fanatics built an unauthorised place of worship in Raigad Fort, the erstwhile capital of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s ‘Hindavi Swarajya’. This was removed after alert Hindus raised their voice; however, it has been found that a similar unauthorised construction has also taken place in Kolaba Fort, the erstwhile centre of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Naval fleet. An unofficial mazar has come up in this Fort and has been painted white.

Such small unauthorised mazars are later converted into dargahs and then into mosques. In this way, Muslims usurp land by constructing unauthorised structures. Representatives of Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Raje Pratishthan Durg Sanvardhan Vibhag met the officials of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Mumbai Division and the District Collectors of Mumbai and Raigad Districts and demanded immediate removal of these unauthorised constructions; they sought immediate action against the culprits. It was learnt that Mrs Falguni Katkar, Assistant Archaeologist, ASI visited the Kolaba Fort and assured that the ASI will take appropriate action against the culprits.

Mr Balwant Pathak (Mumbai District Coordinator of HJS), Mr Roshan Jangam-Belsekar (Mumbai President of Raje Pratishthan Durg Sanvardhan Vibhag) and Mr Rahul Askat submitted a representation to the ASI; while Mr Satish Sonar, Mr Manjunath Pujari, Mrs Vishakha Athavale and others submitted similar representations to Mr Raju Nivatkar (Collector of Mumbai) and Ms Sneha Ubale (Deputy Collector of Raigad).

Regarding the encroachment in Kolaba Fort, Mr Raghuji Raje Angre (A descendent of Sarakhel Kanhoji Angre, Naval Chief of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj) had lodged a similar complaint some days ago. In this context, HJS has demanded that ASI take action against officials who have shown negligence towards this complaint.

HJS has demanded that a report be submitted to the Government on whether such encroachments exist in other forts in the State and that the process of removing such encroachments be started immediately. HJS has also warned that if the ASI and administration do not remove such encroachments, it will start an agitation in the State.