Hindu Sena members booked for defacing Rani Laxmibai memorial in Gwalior
Police said Hindu Sena members blackened parts of the inscription at the memorial to the warrior queen, claiming they were factually wrong.Updated: Nov 20, 2019 22:53 IST
About a dozen unidentified members of Hindu Sena, a right wing outfit, were booked on Wednesday for defacing an inscription at the memorial of legendary warrior Rani Lakshmi Bai in Phoolbagh area of Gwalior on Tuesday, said police.
The activists were agitated over what they alleged factual errors in the inscription on the queen. They blackened the parts of the inscription which, they claimed, was factually wrong, according to police.
Gwalior district collector Anurag Chaudhary said, “If there was any error, they (activists) should have informed the district administration and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) but they violated the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act (AMASR Act). A case has been registered under Section 30 of the Act which punishes a person with imprisonment which may extend to three months, or with fine which may extend to five thousand rupees, or with both for defacing an archaeological site.”
“The inscription was fixed just four months back at the memorial. We are also inquiring into the matter if there is really some factual error,” he added.
Gwalior’s superintendent of police, Navneet Bhasin said, “No arrest has been made so far. We are trying to identify the accused with the help of video the police shot during the protest.”
The Hindu Sena remained defiant and unrepentant.
“We will not allow any distortion of historical facts regarding legendary personalities like Rani Lakshmi Bai and others. In the inscription Rani Lakshmi Bai is stated to be a friend of Britishers and there are many other factual errors too,” said Sanjay Agrawal, president of the Madhya Pradesh unit of the Hinu Sena.
Agrawal said, “Instead of accepting their mistake, the administration has registered a case against us. If they don’t fulfil our demand to remove the inscription, we will intensify our agitation.”
An ASI officer in Gwalior who did not want to be identified rubbished the Hindu Sena’s claim.
“There is no factual error in the inscription. In fact, the activists read ‘Bhinnata’ (differences) as ‘Mitrata’ (friendship) written in Hindi,” he said.
(With input from Mahesh Shivhare in Gwalior)