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BJP-led delegation flags unauthorised construction at Maharashtra forts

New Delhi, Jan 11 (PTI) A delegation led by BJP leaders Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and Sunil Deodhar on Tuesday petitioned the Centre on the issue of unauthorised constructions with the “intention of revival of religious structures” at several forts, including Raigad and Kulaba, in Maharashtra.

The delegation of Rajya Sabha member Sahasrabuddhe, BJP national secretary Deodhar and Vaibhav Dange of Dilli Marathi Pratishthan met Union Minister of State for Culture Arjun Ram Meghwal in this regard.

Sahasrabuddhe said similar illegal constructions have been reported from Fort Vishalgad in Kolhapur in Maharashtra, and urged Meghwal to set up a high-level committee of elected representatives and government officials for an on-the-spot assessment of the “grave situation”.

“Recently, incidence of fresh illegal constructions and renovations of structures claimed as associated with religious worship in the past were brought to our notice…. It was evident that attempt was made by few miscreants to reconstruct old structures with application of white paint in order to revive religious practice,” the delegation said in a memorandum to Meghwal.

They said forts in Maharashtra have been declared as monuments of national importance and protected by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Chhatrapati Shivaji was coronated as King at Fort Raigad and Fort Kulaba served as a naval base of the Maratha empire, they said.

They asked Meghwal to direct the ASI to ensure that no construction or renovation takes places inside any of the protected monuments with the intention of revival of religious practices.

Sahasrabuddhe said incidents of illegal construction were spotted by mountaineers and youth groups at Raigad and Kulaba recently.

He claimed that “miscreants” have already named a part of Fort Chandgad in Satara district of Maharashtra as ‘Dargah Chandan’ and were preparing for constructing a place of worship.

“Similarly, at the famous Lohagad Fort, locals have started celebrating Urs on a large scale at a place which was a temple of Bhairoba, a local village deity,” he said.

The delegation also asked Meghwal to warn the local administration against “protecting such miscreants” and alert the ASI to prevent such “aggressions”. PTI SKU  DV DV

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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