A day after deal,tension brews inside Indumati Mahal

On the first day after the great royal estate of erstwhile state of Baroda was divided between the descendants of Sayajirao III Gaekwad,an uneasy calm prevailed over the properties as the takeover began.

Written by Aditi Raja | Vadodara | Published:October 25, 2013 3:49 am

On the first day after the great royal estate of erstwhile state of Baroda was divided between the descendants of Sayajirao III Gaekwad,an uneasy calm prevailed over the properties as the takeover began. Indumati Mahal,the contentious property of the Gaekwads,which now belongs to Sangramsinh,witnessed some tense moments on Thursday afternoon when some workers from the Laxmi Vilas Palace were stopped from removing the remaining belongings of Samarjitsinh.

The new inheritors also issued strict instructions to clear the compound of the Nazarbaug Palace in Mandvi,which was being used as a parking lot for private vehicles. Early on Thursday,directions were issued to clear all cars out of the compound. The gates were locked and the parking agency was instructed to not let any other vehicles enter in.

On Thursday,as the workers — mostly from the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) — moved towards the Indumati Mahal to bring out Samarjitsinh’s remaining belongings,they met with locked gates. Sources inside the palace said that the instructions were issued by Sangramsinh Gaekwad and his son Pratapsinh to disallow any property from being taken away from Indumati Mahal. According to staff members at Indumati,the Sangramsinh camp had given Samarjitsinh three days’ time to vacate the property before handing it over. On Thursday,as the family began taking possession of the properties,they stopped the workers from removing the belongings from Indumati. A source says,“There are some important belongings of Ranjitsinhji,who used to work out of the first floor of the building. These include pictures of him playing cricket and some other rare photographs and documents. About three cupboards and a safe were among the many things that had to be moved out of Indumati on Thursday.” The Indian Express had reported that Samarjitsinh had begun vacating the Indumati premises since Monday.

In the evening,friends and advisers of both sides were seen moving in and out of the Indumati Mahal. After a meeting between members of both parties,the issue was finally resolved and the belongings were brought into the compound of Indumati. At that time,Sangramsinh Gaekwad and his family — wife Asharaje,son Pratapsinh and his wife Praggyaraje as well as daughter Priyadarshini Raje — were inside the Indumati Mahal. While sources said that the parties had a heated exchange,a close associate of Sangramsinh said,“It is not true that there was a fight. The work was stopped as they wanted to identify what belongings were to be retained inside Indumati Mahal and what had to be taken out.”

A friend of the the family,who has also been part of the mediation,said,“It is not easy to end so much bitterness with the signing of an MoU. Such things will keep coming up until everything is settled. It is only sad to see that there is no happy ending to the fight.”

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