Hundreds of Shiv Sainiks continued their vigil at the Shivaji Park samadhi of their late leader Sena chief Bal Thackeray for the second day in a row.
On Saturday, platoons of Sainiks began taking turns for 12-hour vigils around the memorial to protect it from being removed. This despite the municipal corporation
serving notices to senior Sena leaders —
Sena MP Sanjay Raut and mayor Sunil Prabhu on Monday asking them to remove the samadhi since there were no permissions to house it. The notice also said that in case the Sena does not remove it, then the civic body would be forced to do so.
The Sena cadre quietly gathered at the west end of the park but was clear that they will exercise force if anyone touches the samadhi. On Sunday, Sainiks from Bhiwandi, Ghatkopar and Vikhroli were guarding the site, after Thane district Sainiks protected the monument on Saturday. A logbook has been maintained that checks the attendance of the Sainiks dedicating their time to this.
“Till the time Shiv Sainik’s are guarding Balasaheb’s monument, the government should not even think of touching it,” said Rupesh Mhatre, an MLA from Thane district.
Former Mumbai mayor Datta Dalvi questioned why the BMC was only singling out the monument for violations. “There are so many buildings and gymkhanas in the city which are illegally occupying land. If BMC wants to remove Balasaheb’s monument, is has to raze other structures too,” he asked.
He added saying that it is a question of emotions for Sainiks who are only asking for a 30 square feet of land for Thackeray.