Sena to go ahead with celebrations at Raigad defying ASI ban

Last Updated: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 16:06

Mumbai: Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray Tuesday
said his party will celebrate the anniversary of Chhatrapati
Shivaji Maharaj`s coronation at the Raigad fort, irrespective
of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) banning any such
function.

In a strongly-worded editorial in his party mouthpiece
`Saamna`, Thackeray said despite being surrounded by Mughals
from all corners, the coronation ceremony was held at Raigad
fort on June 6, 1674. "No Mughal emperor could stop it. Then
who are the present day ASI officials?"

Thackeray`s comments come in the backdrop of report that
the ASI has declined permission to hold a function at Raigad
fort citing provisions of Archaeological sites and Remains
(Amendment and Validation) Act 2010.

Thackeray said over the last several years, followers of
the great Maratha warrior king gather at Raigad to commemorate
the historic event. Last year, Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had
declared that the event on June 6 this year would be a state
government affair.

The Sena chief also hit out at the Congress-NCP for
remaining silent on the ASI order. "Congress is more busy on
how to get its fourth candidate elected in the Legislative
council election. While NCP has to resort to horse trading to
get its two candidates elected to Rajya Sabha," Thackeray
charged.

He alleged that the ASI is a "useless" department which
has only "killed" the history related to Marathi bravery. "It
prevents hoisting of saffron flag on Sindhudurg fort. If not
saffron, then should we hoist the `chand tara` of Aurangzeb
and Afzal Khan," Thackeray said.

He claimed that instead of protecting Shivaji`s forts in
Maharashtra, the ASI is more interested in maintaining Afzal
Khan`s grave at Pratapgad fort.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 - 16:06

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