Stones Thrown At Goa Minister After Unveiling Chhatrapati Shivaji Statue

Goa Minister Subhash Phal Desai was injured when a mob threw stones at him after he unveiled a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj on the occasion of Shivaji Jayanti at Sao Jose De Areal village in

As you are all aware, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is one of the greatest Maratha rulers who began the Maratha Empire. His birthday is celebrated across the country on 19th February. This year, India celebrated the 394th birth anniversary. Though the entire country celebrates Shivaji Jayanti, in Maharashtra it is extra special. Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, along with deputy CMs Devendra Fadnavis and Ajit Pawar, paid tribute at Shivneri Fort in Pune. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid tributes to Chhatrapati Shivaji on his birth anniversary. The soldiers organized a programme to celebrate Shivaji Jayanti at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Statue in Kupwara, Jammu and Kashmir, situated near the India-Pakistan Line of Control. The soldiers paid their respects amidst snowfall and white ground all around in the vicinity, with temperature below 0 degrees Celsius. However, in an untoward incident, Goa MinisterSubhash Phal Desai on 19th February said he was injured when a mob attacked him with stones after he unveiled a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj at Sao Jose De Areal village in South Goa. There was heavy police presence in Sao Jose De Areal village on 18th February after some people installed a statue of the Maratha king, while another group took objection. The stone pelting occurred on 19th February when the minister was getting into his car after unveiling the statue. SubhashPhal Desai said, "A mob opposing the installation of the statue pelted stones after I had a brief discussion with them in the village. I was trying to handle the situation peacefully when the mob turned violent. He claimed that stones were pelted at him when he was getting into his car, and he sustained a minor injury in the attack. He said he would not file a police complaint to ensure communal harmony is maintained. SubhashPhal said, “The statue is installed at a private property donated by a Muslim resident. There was no objection from the land owner for installing the statue. Suddenly, some people, instigated by local leaders, including AAP MLA Cruz Silva, started behaving violently.” Silva, who was present at the scene said, "There was an unprovoked lathi-charge by the police when the minister left the place. The injured were taken to Hospital. He claimed the villagers had not opposed the statue, but the issue was about an approach road to the place where the structure was installed. The road passed through another private property, and the owners were not consulted." He also alleged that permission was not sought from any authority to construct the approach road. He added, “The owner of the land where the statue was installed had sought permission from the local panchayat to build a platform, but they had issued a stop-work order for the same. The panchayat members went to inspect the site when the incident occurred. The AAP is ready to install a statue in the constituency, but only with proper legal permissions. Villagers of Sao Jose De Areal have been protesting against the installation of the statue since Sunday, and police were deployed in the area to maintain law and order. Superintendent of Police (South) Sunita Sawant said, "The situation is under control, and police personnel have been deployed in the village.”