A day after a district administration in Maharashtra demolished unauthorised structures that stood on government land around the tomb of Afzal Khan, a general of the Adil Shahi dynasty who was killed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Republic Media Network has brought an exclusive report from the sight where the demolition took place, showing the brown cloured tomb of Khan, along with the tomb of his bodyguard right next to his.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a plea challenging the ongoing demolition of alleged unauthorised structures built on the government land. A bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices Hima Kohli and JB Pardiwala took note of the submission that the tomb of Afzal Khan, who was buried around 1659, was being demolished on the ground that it was illegal for being built on forest land.
The demolition took place on the day Khan was killed by the legendary Maratha king in 1659. It is observed as 'Shivpratap Din' by some organisations in Maharashtra. The action started in the early hours of Thursday amid heavy police security. Afzal Khan was killed by Maratha king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj near the Pratapgarh Fort in Maharashtra's Satara district and a tomb had been built there in his memory later.
Speaking to the media, Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis expressed joy over the removal of encroachment, and said, "Today is a proud day for everyone as today is Shivpratap din. On this day, Afzal Khan was killed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. In 2007, the court had ordered the removal of the encroachment. In 2017, we started the process but some legal problems came up. There were demands (of removal of encroachment) from 'Shiv-premis' (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's followers) but when they staged protests, cases were registered against them and the encroachment was never removed. Today, it is a matter of satisfaction for everyone that the entire encroachment has been removed."