The security in and around the grave of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Khuldabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra was tightened following calls by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to ‘uproot’ it.
According to Kashmir Media Service, while MNS activist Gajanan Kale questioned the need for preserving Aurangzeb’s grave, BJP leader Prasad Lad threatened to remove the small monument which is one of the major tourist attractions in and around Aurangabad.
In the wake of the potential threats to the grave, the Maharashtra Police and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have deployed additional guards and a van at the site, though it is still open for public.
Lad called upon the state government to immediately yank off the new security measures and vowed to uproot the Mughal Emperor’s grave.
Earlier, MNS’s Kale said what was the need to retain Aurangzeb’s grave, adding that it must be removed just as the Shiv Sena founder (Balasaheb Thackeray) also wanted.
If the grave is demolished, then nobody would go and visit it, Kale justified, in an oblique reference to the recent trip there by All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader and Telangana MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi.
As a huge political row erupted, Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said since the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) belongs to the Centre, why the BJP-MNS are not asking the Narendra Modi government to restrict or ban entry to Aurangzeb’s tomb.
He also presented pictures and videos of several BJP leaders who have gone and prayed at the tomb in the past, but now the party is keeping quiet on them.
Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar has asked whether the BJP-MNS were attempting to create a new row in Maharashtra over Aurangzeb’s tomb.
Some BJP-MNS leaders have also threatened to bury Akbaruddin Owaisi in a grave right beside Aurangzeb’s tomb.