Warn of protests if Inquisition Pillar is not safeguarded, allege attempts to erase it from records
Representatives of Hindu organisations on Sunday warned the Goa government and the Archaeological Department not to neglect the Inquisition Pillar (haatkatro khamb ) at Old Goa in north Goa, and vowed to safeguard the monument.
As announced by them earlier, organisations and individuals led by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) organised a tribute programme at the pillar on Sunday to mark Goa Revolution Day.
The organisations said the pillar is a symbol of the identity of Goan Hindus who sacrificed their lives while opposing conversion during the “atrocious inquisition inflicted during the Portuguese rule”, and demanded that it be registered as a historic ancient monument of archaeological importance, and be preserved with immediate effect.
HJS spokesperson Manoj Solanki said the pillar was mentioned in government documents till 2006, but a systematic attempt was being made to erase it from them.
“If the Goa government does not preserve this historic pillar, Hindus will hold agitations and decide what steps should be taken to safeguard the same,” said Hindu Janajagruti Samiti national spokesperson Ramesh Shinde.
Jayesh Thali from the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti said the pillar is a remnant of the Sree Saptakoteshwar Temple that existed during the reign of the Kadamba dynasty, which was demolished by the Portuguese. It was used to punish Hindus and criminals, giving it the name haatkatro khamb .
Researcher and historian Prajal Sakhardande emphasised the historical importance of the pillar, saying that it has an inscription in Kannada.
The pillar has been hit by vehicles twice, damaging its platform. Mr. Sakhardande demanded that the administration should preserve the pillar before another accident occurs.