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HC restrains entry into demolished Ambedkar Bhavan premises

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The Bombay High Court said ‘no person’ will enter the premises of the recently demolished Ambedkar Bhavan in Dadar and attempt to rebuild or restore it.

Ambedkar Bhavan-AV
Justice S J Kathawalla was hearing an application filed by Peoples’ Improvement Trust, which runs the Ambedkar Bhavan in Dadar, against the proposed rebuilding of the demolished structure through shramdaan (voluntary contribution of labour).

According to the Trust, it had on June 1 received a notice from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) directing it to demolish the three structures in the premises as it was in a dilapidated and dangerous condition.

As per the notice, the Trust started demolition work on June 25. However, the same day, supporters of B R Ambedkar, mobilised by his grandson Prakash Ambedkar entered the premises and protested against demolition.

Prakash Ambedkar has now called for the followers of the late Dalit leader to assemble at the premises on July 30 and rebuild and restore the structure.

The court restrained any person or group to enter the said premises and maintain status quo till the next hearing of the application August 1 (Monday).

“I do not want anyone to do anything till this matter is heard. Maintain status quo. If some person breaches this order then the Commissioner of Police shall take necessary action,” Justice Kathawalla directed.

According to the Trust, there were three structures in the premises, which have been demolished. Prakash and his brother Anandraj were occupants of one of the structure.

The Trust told the High Court that Prakash and Anandraj would be allowed to occupy the proposed 17-storeyed redeveloped structure in future.

From one structure, Prakash operated and undertook printing press work and from the other structure, the Trust operated. The open courtyard along with a hall was often given on rent for public functions to earn funds for the maintenance of the structure.

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