(1) Citizens performing Aarti at Hanuman temple in Ram Nagar (2) Devotees staging a sit-in to oppose demolition of Hanuman temple in Dhawde Mohalla( 3) Dr Milind Mane along with others opposing action of NMC
The opposition to demolition of religious structures in the city has intensified. The peace-loving citizens of Nagpur performed ‘Maha Aarti’ at six Assembly constituencies to oppose the action against structures situated inside the lay-outs. Dharmik Sthal Bachav Sangarsh Samiti organised Maha Aarti to protect the structures. Office-bearers of Bharatiya Janata Party, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) participated in the ‘Aarti’ along with thousands of citizens who were seething with anger against ongoing drive.
The ‘Maha Aarti’ was performed at Hanuman Temple, Ajni Square, Hanuman Temple, Rajabaksha, Sheetal Mata Temple, Pardi, Kali Mata Mandir, Gandhi Bag, Ram Mandir, Ram Nagar, and Buddha Vihar in North Nagpur. Shri Sankat Mochan Pashimeshwar Hanuman Temple situated at Ram Nagar square is also likely to go under the hammer of civic authorities. Present Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is regular visitor of this temple since his childhood till date.
It may be mentioned that as per the directions of Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court, which is implementing the directives of Supreme Court, the civic authorities are demolishing the religious structures in the city. Till now, more than 200 structures have been demolished by the Enforcement Department of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) and Nagpur Improvement Trust (NIT).
Rajesh Loya, Mahanagar Sanghchalak of RSS, Shridhar Gadge, Mahanagar Sah Sanghchalak, RSS, Ravi Bokare, Dr. Hemant Jambhekar, Vice President, Harish Harkare, Treasurer, Govind Shende, Vice President, Sanat Gupta, Deputy General Secretary, Ajay Nildawar, General Secretary, Rajkumar Sharma, Prashant Titre, Bajrang Dal, Anil Sole, MLC, Sudhakar Kohle, MLA, Sandip Joshi, Ruling Party Leader, Pravin Datke, Dayashankar Tiwari, Virendra Kukreja, Bunty Kukde, Sandeep Jadhav, Sanjay Bangale, Prakash Bhoyar, Adv. Nishant Gandhi, Roopa Rai, Praveen Bhisikar, Narendra Borkar, Dharampal Meshram, P Koteyan, Shirsh Badkas, and several others performed Aarti of God Ganesh, Goddess Durga, and Hanumanji.
The people of North Nagpur performed Maha Aarti at Hanuman Temple at Indora Square and Siddharth Buddha Vihar and Dhamma Jyoti Buddha Vihar under the leadership of Dr. Milind Mane, MLA. They were opposing the demolition drive of the civic authorities. Anil Bharadwaj, Dilip Gaur, Prabhakar Yeole, Dwarkaprasad Yadav, Sheshrao Gotmare, Ramesh Wankhede, Ganesh Kantode, Gopichand Kumre, Mahendra Dhanvijay, Mangla Gotmare, Naseem Bano and others were present.
Buddha Vihar Samanvay Samiti and Sarva Sahyogi Sanghathan jointly organised demonstration at Samvidhan Square against the drive of local body. The agitation will continue till August 6. After that they will intensify agitation from August 7. Bhante Nagarjun Surai Sasai began the agitation by lighting the traditional lamp. Prasanna Paturkar, Ashok Saraswati, Ravi Shende, Ghanshyam Shende, Dr. Bhimrao Gote, S T Chavan, A K Patil, Aniruddha Fulmali and others were present.
A deputation of citizens met Chief Minister’s OSD Asha Pathan at Hyderabad House under leadership of BJP leader Munna Yadav and corporator Laxmi Yadav on Wednesday. They have warned for agitation against the on-going drive. Praveen Sharma of Bharatiya Vidyarthi Sena, Sachin Sharma, Kedar Khandelwal, Ashok Gaikwad, Mohan Ahirkar, Shubham Ahirkar and others were present.
Meanwhile, the womenfolk of Dhawde area opposed the demolition of Hanuman Temple on Wednesday. The team of Satranjipura zone came to demolish the temple as per the directions of the court. However, due to stiff opposition of the local residents, Assistant Commissioner Subhash Jaideo withdraw the action on the assurance of the citizens. Balya Borkar, Subhash Kotecha, Hitesh Joshi, Chandan Goswami, Kanta Rarokar, Chetna Tank, Manisha Dhawade, Sachin Karare, Mahendra Raut and others were present.
Various religious organisations have strongly opposed the drive and decided to aggressively mobilise people’s anger against this “unjust and unwarranted move. All of them supported the move, but raised the banner of revolt when action was initiated against most old, popular temples situated inside lay-outs and grounds which have become a source of faith for millions of people. Most of Nag mandirs are being demolished on the eve of Nag Panchami ignoring the fact that Nag temples have special place in Nagpur, the activists lamented while making it clear that no constitutional institution has any right to infringe religious freedom and right to worship of majority community. Meanwhile, after receipt of legal opinion asking NMC to tread cautiously on this issue, the ruling party has decided not to go ahead with its plan to hold a special meeting of General Body on August 4 to discuss the issue of ongoing demolition of religious structures.
Don’t demolish shrines not obstructing traffic: Gadkari
Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road, Transport, Highways, Shipping and WRD, has already asked the civic agencies and district administration not to demolish religious structures situated inside the localities, on open spaces not posing any obstruction to traffic. Instead steps should be taken to regularise or relocate them. Gadkari has already made this suggestions in a letter addressed to authorities three weeks ago while cautioning them that due to ongoing demolition drive, law and order situation has been created across city, while referring to number of delegations which met him and agitation launched by various organisations.
Supporting the move to remove shrine posing obstruction to smooth flow of traffic, Gadkari had asked the Municipal Commissioner, District Collector and Nagpur Improvement Trust Chairman to properly interpret policy of the State Government and orders passed by High Court. “People are also in support of removal of religious structures posing danger to traffic, but the shrines which can be regularised, relocated and shifted elsewhere as per the policy of State Government, should also be followed scrupulously,” Gadkari had recommended.
Referring to GR dated May 5, 2011, Gadkari noted that all such religious structures need to be categorised as “A” “B” or “C” depending on several factors including number of years. However, instead all religious structures have been shown illegal and unauthorised and shrines are being removed, he noted while pointing out that there is public uproar due to this action.
NMC demolishing heritage structures, alleges Gajbhiye
Prakash Gajbhiye, MLC of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) staged demonstration at Laxmi Nagar Zone office opposing demolition of religious structures. He also submitted a memorandum to Virendra Singh, Municipal Commissioner. Earlier, a morcha was taken out from Takli Sim to Laxmi Nagar zone office. He said, NMC is demolishing heritage structures, decades old Buddha Vihar and other places of worship. The Buddha Vihar of Takli Sim is constructed before 1950. He also submitted several documents related to it. Sarvajeet Chahande, Sudhakar Pakirde, Maruti Dhole, Mangesh Meshram, Omprakash Patil, Prashant Jamgade, Rahul Patil, Romit Sonare and others also were present.