Unauthorised construction near Afzal Khan’s grave demolished !

  • Success to the 20-year struggle of devout Hindus !
  • Police force deployed, curfew imposed in the area !
  • Entry banned for journalists !

Satara (Maharashtra) – Demolition of unauthorised constructions near the tomb of Afzal Khan at Fort Pratapgad in Mahabaleshwar taluka, Satara, was started from the early hours of 10th November. In order to prevent any untoward incident from happening, Police force has been deployed at the base of Pratapgad. For the last several years, devout Hindu organisations including BJP leader Nitin Shinde, convener of the ‘Shivpratapbhumi Mukti Andolan’, have been demanding the removal of this unauthorised construction. The demand was finally met.

1. More than 1,800 policemen from the Districts of Satara, Pune, Solapur, Kolhapur and Sangli had arrived at the Police sub-divisional office at Wai since the night of 9th November.

2. Removal of unauthorised construction started from 6 am. A heavy contingent of Police has also been deployed in Pratapgad, Mahabaleshwar, Wai, Karad and Satara. Section 144 has been imposed in this region.

3. Collector of Satara Ruchesh Jayvanshi, Superintendent of Police Sameer Shaikh, Provincial Officer of Wai Rajendra Jadhav, Deputy Superintendent of Police Dr. Sheetal Janve-Kharade, Tehsildar Sushma Patil-Chaudhri of Mahabaleshwar and other senior officials have arrived at the spot. Media representatives have been restricted from entering the area. Many rooms have been illegally constructed on the forest department land near Afzal Khan’s grave. Urus (festival) was also held there.

(Credit : Republic World)

Restaurants closed, tourists vacated !

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj killed Afzal Khan on 10th November 1659 at the foot of Pratapgad in Satara District. The State Government has commenced this action on the occasion of this day. Demolition of the unauthorised construction started from 4 am with the help of Poclain and JCB. Tourists in the area of ​​Pratapgad have also been evacuated and restaurants have been closed.

People will not be able to visit the fort until the action is over !

Police deployment

Due to the controversy, there is a 24-hour Police guard near Afzal Khan’s grave. The decoration of the grave has been disputed many times in the past. This grave, which was earlier in a few square meters, is now spread over a few acres. Many devout Hindus expressed their displeasure over this. This area remained closed (sealed) since 2006 to prevent untoward incidents. Many Hindus repeatedly demanded to open this area. The entire area has been cordoned off due to the current encroachment demolition operation. It is not yet clear when this action will finish, but till then devout Hindus will not be able to visit the fort.

Petition filed in the Supreme Court against the action !

A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court against the demolition of structure around Afzal Khan’s grave at Pratapgad. It will be heard in the Supreme Court on 11th November.

Editorial Viewpoints

  • O’ Hindus, keep fighting to raze the unauthorised constructions made near the other forts !
  • Put the culprits in jail for life for the unauthorised structures and those responsible for failing to demolishing it for so many years !

Endless fight by Nitin Shinde !

Nitin Shinde, Convener, ‘Shri Shivapratapbhoomi Mukti Andolan’ and BJP leader 

1. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj killed Afzal Khan and Sayyed Banda at the base of Fort Pratapgad and built their graves there, but around these tombs, some people built unauthorised constructions in the forest department land to glorify Afzal Khan.

2. Nitin Shinde, the convener of the ‘Shivpratapbhumi Mukti Andolan’ and BJP leader, had been fighting for the demolition of this unauthorised construction for the past 20 years.

3. Even when he was an MLA of Vidhan Parishad, he raised this issue in the legislature. At that time, he had forced the then Congress and NCP coalition Government to take a decision to close the entire area.

4. There was a constant demand that ‘a magnificent statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj should be erected in the land of the forest department’. Along with this, Hindus also demanded to open the place of demolition of the unauthorised construction around the grave of Afzal Khan, where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj performed the feat of killing Afzal Khan and demonstrated to the world how to put an end to terrorism.

5. On 22nd August, Nitin Shinde had requested the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde through an appeal that ‘reputed advocates should be appointed to lift the stay given by the Supreme Court, and also a meeting should be held between the officials of the forest department and the Satara District administration under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister to understand the current situation in this case’.

6. Chief Minister Shinde had ordered the secretary to hold an urgent meeting of the concerned department in this regard. A statement in this regard was also given to Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar.

7. After Nitin Shinde’s appeal in 2018, the then Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar ordered the Forest Department and the Satara District Administration to implement the High Court order, but the trustees of ‘Afzal Khan Memorial Trust’ went to the Supreme Court and got a stay on the order of the High Court.

Administration failed to demolish the encroachment even after High Court issuing order thrice !

While ruling on a petition filed by some social activists in the Bombay High Court to raze the encroachment around Afzal Khan’s grave, the HC had ordered the Government to demolish the unauthorised construction and encroachment. The Court has given this order thrice. Nitin Shinde continuously pursued and agitated for removal of encroachment at administration and judicial level. The administration had not removed the encroachment despite the order of the High Court. Due to this, the devout Hindu organisations became aggressive.

Movement supported by many Hindu organisations including the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti !

Nitin Shinde’s movement was supported by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Sanatan Sanstha, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Shri Shivpratisthan Hindustan etc.

Afzal Khan’s grave was built by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj as a symbol of victory !

On 10th November 1659, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj killed Adil Shah’s Sardar Afzal Khan at the base of Fort Pratapgad. His advocate Krishnaji Bhaskar Kulkarni was also beheaded. Afzal Khan’s grave was built there by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj himself as a symbol of this victory, however, in the past few years, unauthorised constructions had grown up around this grave and it was also being glorified.

Responses of devout Hindu activists

1. Now, a huge monument of Afzal Khan’s slaying should be erected ! – Nitin Shinde, Convener, ‘Shri Shivapratapbhoomi Mukti Andolan’ and BJP leader

At the foothills of Pratapgad, a plot was hatched to portray Afzal Khan as a Sufi Saint for the last 21 years. When the matter was taken up in the State Legislative Council, the then Front-government of Congress and NCP tried to throttle our voice, but we continued the fight without getting suppressed. We were running from pillar to post, for the cases registered against us in this connection for our call of closing down of Satara District; besides facing the opposition from anti-Hindus. Without getting demoralised, the devotees of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, so also, many devout Hindu activists from Shiv Sena, Shri Shivapratishthan Hindustan, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, Sanatan Sanstha, RSS, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Ekata Andolan, and BJP helped in ‘the Shivapratapbhoomi Mukti’ drive which has borne fruits today. I thank the Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Dy. CM Devendra Fadanvis, Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, devout Hindu activists, and the administration, for demolishing the encroachment. I demand that the Government should now make a huge monument of Afzal Khan’s slaying at this place so that people would know the true history.

2. A monument of the meeting between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Afzal Khan may be erected at this place ! – Smt Vijayatai Bhosale, Convener, Pratapgad Utsav Samiti    

‘Pratapgad Utsav Samiti (the Samiti)’ has been trying to stop the glorification of Afzal Khan’s tomb for the last 25 years. There was an encroachment on the land of the Forest Department with the unauthorised construction around the tomb.  The devotees of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj from Satara, Pune, Kolhapur, Raigad, and Sangli gave a tough fight through the medium of the Samiti by staging demonstrations, hunger strikes, and taking to the streets. A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in Mumbai High Court. Mumbai High Court had passed three orders for demolition, but the Government didn’t take action on these orders. The Government, however, took the decision on realising the plan of devout Hindu activists to stage agitations. I congratulate Maharashtra Government on behalf of all pro-Hindu organisations. We demand this land be named as ‘Shivapratapbhoomi’ and a monument may be created of the meeting between Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and Afzal Khan that will show the bravery exhibited by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and give the right direction to our young generation.

3. The Government should remove the tomb of Afzal Khan ! – Anand Dave, President, Hindu Brahman Mahasangh

Anand Dave, President, Hindu Brahman Mahasangh

The encroachment around the tomb of Afzal Khan is being removed now as per the order of the Supreme Court, but ‘Hindu Brahman Mahasangh’s President Anand Dave has demanded that the Government should remove Afzal Khan’s tomb. If the Government didn’t remove the tombs of Afzal Khan and Aurangzeb in Maharashtra, they will be removed. Is there a need for the tombs of Afzal Khan and Aurangzeb in Maharashtra ? Everyone knows their history; therefore, the Government should consider the demand.

4. There is a pro-Hindu Government in Maharashtra, so, don’t make noise ! – MLA Nitesh Rane’s tweet

BJP leader and MLA Nitesh Rane

BJP leader and MLA Nitesh Rane has thanked CM Eknath Shinde and Dy CM Devendra Fadanvis for taking action against the unauthorised structure around Afzal Khan’s tomb. The unauthorised construction around Afzal Khan’s tomb was removed under police protection. There is a pro-Hindu Government in Maharashtra; so, no noise need be made’, was his tweet.

Editorial viewpoints

  • Now the devout Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj followers expect that the Government should also demolish the Islamic encroachment on other forts and put a stop to the ‘Fort Jihad’ !
  • Is it acceptable to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s Maharashtra to take two decades to demolish the encroachment on Pratapgad in the form of ‘Fort Jihad’ ?

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