Gujarat: 108 shrines demolished in Gujarat

The state Home Minister in Gujarat claims to have seen a ‘conspiracy’ where suddenly shrines are turning up in the state, as he demands for budget allocation and asserts that 108 shrines have been destroyed in the state.
Harsh Sanghavi

Mohanlal Gupta’s, scrap merchant in Gujarat, property was slated to be destroyed by the Bharuch-Ankleshwar Urban Development Authority (BAUDA) for allegedly being an illegal construction. However, as per a report by Mint, Gupta took to new tactics to tackle and prevent the demolition. He built a temple dedicated to Ram Sita on one of the floors of his building and inaugurated it on the day the Ram Temple was inaugurated, January 22. As news of demolition of property designated as ‘illegal’ comes, many news reports have asserted that it is Muslims’ whose homes and properties are being destroyed mostly in these demolition drives.  Similarly, in the state of Gujarat, in a recent address to the state assembly Gujarat’s Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi provided data on the state’s anti-encroachment drives during the term of Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel. Sanghavi stated that the government has demolished 108 mazars as a crackdown on encroachments. He committed that the government was ensuring that temples are protected from any sort of ill-intentions. He stated that the mazars were part of a ‘conspiracy’, according to the Indian Express. Sanghavi was reportedly asking for the home ministry budget, when he further claimed about the sudden rise of mazaars in the state in Junagadh allegedly within the premises of Uparkot Fort, “In Uparkot, it was not known where (and when) all mazars were built. How can it be built suddenly?”

The Wire reported him saying, “In all, 108 mazars have been demolished (in the state) and the state’s properties have been opened… The encroachment around Somnath has been removed. This bulldozer of Dada can enter a 20-ft wide street and an 80-m wide road.”

According to an Amnesty International report, Gujarat was among the top five states that saw the most demolition of Muslim property. There have been rising reports of human rights violations in the station. Last year in 2023, Gujarat’s Junagadh saw men of Muslim community getting publicly flogged reportedly by plainclothes policemen after they had allegedly protested against the demolition of Dargah. Around 176 Muslims were detained in the incident.



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