Rajgruha, the residence of Dr. BR Ambedkar at Mumbai’s Dadar was damaged by an unidentified miscreant. The Maharashtra government has ordered an inquiry in the vandalism of this place. This is not the first time that the Rajgruh is attacked, they the trustees former and present have a lot of animosity among each other, and above all the Maratha reservation bill verdict is to be declared by the court. There are possibilities that the irrelevant people took advantage of the situation. The act of vandalism has sparked huge chaos among the followers and politicians in Maharashtra. Leaders across the party lines have condemned the issue and have demanded strict action against the accused.
Dalit Atavist and journalist Gautam Korde told Afternoon Voice, “Vandalism and hooliganism are very low-level elements activities and they actually have no fixed political alignment. They don’t have bigger motives or even ideology, most of them might not even be aware of Ambedkar’s contribution. Only thing they know is that someone they don’t like or don’t subscribe to has mentioned or used Ambedkar in their political speeches. They make use of the heightened emotions and burn buses, vandalize. They do it because it’s fun for them and they can go away with it if they do it as part of the crowd.”
Chief minister Uddhav Thackeray said that they will not accept any kind of attack. “Rajgruh acts as a motivation not only to Ambekarites but all communities. This is a holy place. A lot of books by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar have been left here for us. We will not tolerate such an act of insult. Strict actions will be taken against the culprits who were involved in this attack,” Chief Minister said.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) demanded swift action against the culprits involved in the vandalism at Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar’s home ‘Rajgruha’. The pots and plants in the premises of ‘Rajgruha’ in Mumbai were smashed and some CCTV cameras were also damaged. However, the police have dismissed the political angle in the attack. Maharashtra AAP Secretary Dhananjay Shinde said that this vandalism was shameful and unacceptable.
Home minister Anil Deshmukh said that the government has decided to provide round the clock security to the place. He said that the police have started a search of the miscreants and soon they will be nabbed. Across party lines, all leaders condemned this attack.
Housing minister Dr Jitendra Awhad, who has visited the spot, said that Rajgruh is a holy place for them and the attack on this place will not be tolerated.
Maharashtra Congress president and revenue minister Balasaheb Thorat said that such an act is ‘reprehensible’. “Rajgruha is the residence of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, which is a place of inspiration for Ambedkar followers like us. We condemn the cowardly attack and the attackers should be arrested immediately and severe punishment should be meted to them,” Thorat said, adding that many memories of Ambedkar are attached to this building. Ambedkar’s grandson and Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar said that people should maintain peace and no one should gather at large numbers at the place.
Meanwhile. Mumbai Police has detained a person on Wednesday afternoon in connection with the unsuccessful bid to vandalize Rajgruha. “The detained suspect looks similar to the one that was captured on the footage of CCTV (closed-circuit TV) installed at Rajgruha. The suspect is seen damaging potted plants inside the compounds of the house. He is being questioned. He will be arrested, if he is found to be involved in the vandalism bid,” said Viresh Prabhu, additional commissioner of police (ACP), (central region), Mumbai Police.
Mumbai Police has registered a First Information Report (FIR) against an unidentified person under Section 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of Rs 50) and Section 447 (criminal trespass) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in a complaint lodged by Bhimrao Ambedkar, one of the three grandsons of Dr. Ambedkar. The accused had entered Rajgruha from a three-feet high gate, which was open on Tuesday evening. He came bare feet and damaged potted plants and also shattered Rajgruha’s window panes with stones. However, CCTV cameras were not damaged, a police official said.