Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha called for an agitation after a developer Friday razed a 90-year-old Hanuman temple on Sanjaynagar redevelopment plot.
After the developer — Manav Construction Pvt Ltd and its subsidiary Balaji Constructions — razed the temple “without a trace”, a police complaint was filed against the firm. The Vadodara Municipal Corporation had given the slum redevelopment project to the private developer under the public -private partnership model.
Last week, police had detained 15 people, including the temple priest, for trying to hold a maha-aarti at the temple.
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National spokesperson of Akhil Bhart Hindu Mahasabha Mukul Mishra, who was in Vadodara on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti, called for an “aggressive agitation” against the developer.
Vice-president of the city Congress unit and advocate Shailesh Amin, who filed the complaint with Sama police against the developer, said: “The builder is under delusion that he is owner of the land. The land is still owned by the VMC, and he has been given development rights vide a Rs 100 stamp paper deal. By law, structures of religious importance standing on a government land cannot be demolished by a developer. There were 20 other temples on the same plot and the VMC had demolished them before handing over the plot to the builder. Why they (VMC) did not demolish this temple too? It is because, the temple does not fall in the actual land measurement that has been allotted for the development.”
Police said they were “investigating” the matter, while VMC commissioner H S Patel was unavailable for comment.
The Sanjaynagar redevelopment under the Mukhyamantri Gruh Yojana (MGY) scheme has been ridden with controversies regarding the construction of a retention wall by Balaji Constructions, reclaiming land from Vishwamitri River swamp that runs along the plot. The plot will house 22 MGY towers, nine luxurious towers with a central activity area, and proposes a sprawling mall overlooking Mangal Pandey Road, which is yet to be cleared by the VMC.