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Gaikwad’s role in Ambedkar Bhawan demolition to be probed

The role of former IAS officer and the present State Information Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad in the controversial demolition of the historical Ambedkar Bhawan building would be probed, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said.

Ratnakar Gaikwad-AV
Gaikwad’s role will be probed and a report will be sent to the Governor,” Fadnavis said in a written reply to a question by Baliram Kshirsagar of Bahujan Mahasangh in the Legislative Assembly.

Ambedkar Bhawan in Dadar in central Mumbai is the place where Dr B R Ambedkar launched his political party during the pre-independence days. It also housed Buddhabhushan printing press where the newspapers published by him were printed.

“If the Ambedkar family agrees, the Government will (re)build the Bhawan instead of the People’s Improvement Trust (which manages the property),” the CM said.

The printing press would be given heritage status, he added.

The building was demolished last month, with the trust, of which Gaikwad is a member, saying that it was dilapidated and would be replaced by a new 17-storey Ambedkar Bhawan.

But it led to protests by Dalit groups and Dr Ambedkar’s grandsons Prakash and Anandraj Ambedkar. Anandraj Ambedkar has also lodged an FIR against Gaikwad.

The matter has now reached the Bombay High Court which has asked both the parties to maintain a status quo.

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