Bajrang Dal activists blocked traffic near Shewalkar Garden, Mate Square today, as Nagpur Municipal Corporation tried to demolish a small Hanuman Temple following a High Court order to demolish structures on footpaths. The activists also shouted Jai Shree Ram, anti-NMC and anti-government slogans as they demanded answers from Suvarna Dakhane (Assistant Municipal Commissioner, Laxmi Nagar Zone) and ACP Keshav Shengale (Sonegaon Police Station). The activists then gathered together and sung the Hanuman Chalisa.
Speaking exclusively to Nation Next, Raju Shukla, Gau Raksha Pramukh, Nagpur Bajrang Dal, who led the morcha of activists, said, “I got to know in the evening that NMC had demolished two temples in the area and was trying to demolish a Hanuman temple. When I reached the spot, there were many people around but nobody was brave enough to stop the demolition. The fact that a Hanuman Temple was being demolished and that to on a Tuesday, agitated me. I immediately informed my Bajrang Dal colleagues and they reached the spot. We then stopped the demolition of the Hanuman Temple.” Expressing his resentment against the ruling party, Shukla added, “It is unfortunate that temples in Nagpur are being demolished by NMC since the last two years in spite of BJP being in power at the centre, state and the city. We don’t want a government like this, which makes us feel that we live in Pakistan. If anybody tries to demolish any temple in the city again, we will stage a massive protest.” Shukla also claimed that when two years back when he spoke to an NMC official, he was assured that no temple will be demolished in Nagpur. And if it comes to demolishing structures on footpaths, the Meetha Neem Dargah situated 100 meters away from NMC will be demolished first.
When Nation Next spoke to ACP Keshav Shengale of Sonegaon Police Station, he said, “Our bike marshal informed us about Bajrang Dal activists blocking the traffic to protest against the demolition of the temple. We reached the spot and then tried to restore the law and order in the area. Post the incident, a meeting was held between Bajrang Dal activists, NMC officials, BJP party workers and Congress Part workers at the police station. The Bajrang Dal activists were of the opinion that the Lord Hanuman Idol should not have been demolished without informing them. Suvarna Dakhane from NMC then informed that the notice of the demolition was already given two years back and she just acted on the High Court’s order.”
Photos by: Thakur Raship Singh