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Maharashtra government halts Deekshabhoomi parking project in Nagpur after protests

The opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi slammed Eknath Shinde-led Maha Yuti for sanctioning the underground parking lot project.
Last Updated : 01 July 2024, 14:13 IST

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Mumbai: Thousands of people marched till Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur to protest against Maharashtra government's plans to construct an underground parking lot.

Deekshabhoomi holds immense historical and cultural significance. It was at this place, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, embraced Buddhism along with four lakh followers on 14 October 1956.

The incident was discussed during monsoon session of Maharashtra legislature which is currently underway. 

The opposition Maha Vikas Aghadi slammed Eknath Shinde-led Maha Yuti for sanctioning the underground parking lot project.

The monument is a replica of the famous stupa erected by the emperor Asoka at Sanchi in Madhya Pradesh. 

Every year, on the occasion of Dhammachakra Pravartan Din, a programme is organised to mark the day of mass conversion.

In Nagpur, thousands of Dalit activists marched up to Deekshabhoomi and targeted the girders, steel reinforcing bars, several cement-concrete pillars, and the temporary boundaries which had been erected. 

Nagpur Police and Riot Control Police rushed to the spot, issued appeals to maintain peace and urged the protestors to disperse.

Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, announced a stay on the parking-lot works but said that the Deekshabhoomi Trust had approved the proposal and it was cleared by the state government along with the necessary funds.

Dr Ambedkar’s grandson and Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi founder Prakash Ambedkar said, “Despite there being no demand for parking at Deekshabhoomi, the trustees cleared  it. The people are against this. The trustees should not play with people's emotions.”

“The parking lot work may endanger the original foundation of Deekshabhoomi as well as the stupa. Therefore, Ambedkarite organisations are demanding to stop this work.

"But the government does not stop this work instead resorts to repression of Ambedkarite followers,” said Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Vijay Wadettiwar. 

MVA leaders like Congress’ Dr Nitin Raut, Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Aditya Thackeray and Sushma Andhare, NCP (SP)’s Dr Jitendra Awhad, raised the issue as well.

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Published 01 July 2024, 14:13 IST

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