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Encroachments around Afzal Khan's tomb in Satara demolished in sudden move

Adilshahi general Afzal Khan was killed by Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj near the Pratapgarh Fort and later a mausoleum was built at the burial spot to commemorate his memory

File photo (Courtesy: Twitter)
File photo (Courtesy: Twitter)
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Nadeem Inamdar

Unauthorised structures built on government land around the tomb of Adilshahi general Afzal Khan was demolished by the Satara district administration on Thursday morning. It claimed that the move was made in compliance with a Bombay High Court order.

Afzal Khan was killed by Maratha warrior king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj near the Pratapgarh Fort and later a mausoleum was built at the burial spot to commemorate his memory.

Police officials stated that the demolition drive began during the wee hours on Thursday in presence of  heavy police bandobast at the spot.

Satara collector Ruchesh Jaiwanshi said, “We have removed the illegal structures such as permanent rooms built around the Afzal Khan tomb premises. The action has been taken as per orders of the High Court and directions given by the state government. The unauthorised structure was spread between 15 to 20 guntha land," he said. A portion of the land reportedly belongs to the forest and revenue departments. 

Around 2000 policemen were stationed around the spot at the time of the encroachment removal. Also present during the drive were SP Sameer Shaikh, Deputy SP Dr Sheetal Kharade and other senior officers from the police and district administration departments.

There was a demand to remove the encroachments around the tomb since 2006 and right wing organisations had carried out several agitations to press for it. For the past 26 years, section 144 was being imposed in the area and heavy security deployed around the tomb. In 2017, the Bombay HC had ordered the removal of the unauthorised structures but the order was never implemented.

In 2006, a blanket ban was imposed on the visitors to the tomb. The demolition of the encroachments took place on the same day when Khan was killed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, popularly observed as ‘Shivpratap Din’.

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