Sena to go ahead with celebrations at Raigad defying ASI ban
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Last Updated: Tuesday, June 01, 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 01, 2010, 16:06


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