The Gwalior district administration on Tuesday removed the bust of Nathuram Godse from the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha’s office (ABHM) in Daulatgaj area and sealed the premises.
The right-wing group had installed the bust inside the office amid chanting of mantras and offering of milk, curd, gangajal and honey, on Godse’s death anniversary on November 15. While seeking land to build Godse’s temple in the town, the ABHM had called its Daulatganj office a temple for Godse, drawing angry reactions from political parties, including the ruling BJP.
The Additional District Magistrate served a notice on the organisation on November 16, asking it to reply within five days for misusing the premises and converting it into a temple without permission.
Instead of replying to the notice, the organisation claimed that it was illegal because it did not have reports from the police department. It had warned of a possible law and order issue citing a threat by a Congress leader to forcibly remove the bust.
When the five-day deadline ended Tuesday, the organisation leaders met the Collector but were told to remove the bust in an hour. The office-bearers chose to lock the premises from outside.
No one was present in the office when the district administration removed the bust and sealed the premises. The action came to avoid a possible flare-up as the local market was shut.
Collector Rahul Jain told The Indian Express that no one was taken into custody. He said the bust had been seized and the administration had already rejected the demand for a piece of land to build a temple for Godse.