In a sudden move, the district administration has sealed two properties of the erstwhile Dhar princely state — the Rajwada and the Bada Bangla. The move comes within a week after Hemendra Singh Pawar was formally announced as the head of the erstwhile Dhar state.
Speculation is rife that the move came after BJP legislator Nina Verma had written to the district collector on January 13 saying that the administration should take over all the properties as the late maharani, Mrunalini Devi Puar, did not have children.
On Friday afternoon, a team led by naib tehsildar Mahesh Solanki first sealed the Rajwada. The team pasted a notice declaring that the property had been taken under its protection due to a case of property dispute. The team then went to the Bada Bangla where the team managed to seal only a portion of the property.
A representative of the erstwhile royal family, advocate Shakeel Ahmed reached the spot and tried to stop the sealing drive. But Solanki asked the advocate to move the tehsildar's court where the case is going on.
Advocate Ahmed said a copy of the maharani's will had been e-mailed to district collector Jaishree Kiyawat on Saturday night and a hard copy of the will was submitted the next day at the collector's office. "There is no question of the properties being without an owner," he said. Meanwhile, Kiyawat said she had not received a copy of the will.
In her will, the late maharani had reportedly made her nephew Kartik Ghorpade as her heir. On January 17, Hemendra Singh Pawar and Kartik Ghorpade had presented a letter to the district collector and the magistrate stating that the custodianship of the properties has been handed to the new maharaj.
"The properties have been sealed ill-legally. The letter to the administration clearly says that since Kartik lives in Karnataka, I was made the custodian of the properties here. The administration could seal the properties only if there were dispute among us regarding the properties. However, the letter jointly signed by me and Kartik clearly says that there is no dispute among us...," Pawar, a scion of the erstwhile royal family, claimed.