‘Strict action will be taken’: Eknath Shinde on Yakub Memon grave beautification

Published on Sep 09, 2022 07:19 AM IST

A probe has been ordered after reports emerged that the grave of 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon was beautified.

Chief minister Eknath Shinde (HT Photo)
Chief minister Eknath Shinde (HT Photo)
By | Edited by Swati Bhasin

Maharashtra chief minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday night responded to the controversy over the beautification of the grave of 1993 Mumbai blast convict Yakub Memon, who was hanged in 2015. Nearly two months after the state saw the formation of the Eknath Shinde-Devendra Fadnavis government, Maharashtra is yet again witnessing the NCP-Shiv Sena-Congress alliance pitted against the ruling combine.

The BJP has accused the former Maha Vikas Aghadi government of granting permission to build a memorial over the grave. As reports emerged of the beautification process being carried out on TV channels, a political standoff was sparked, followed by a high-level probe.

By Thursday night, chief minister Shinde too had reacted. “An inquiry has been ordered. The probe has also been started,” Shinde was quoted as saying by news agency ANI. “Strict action will be taken against the persons responsible,” he added.

This was after Maharashtra BJP chief Chandrashekhar Bawankule made sharp comments against the former government. “The beautification of the grave happened during the previous Thackeray government. The chief minister and home minister regularly get briefings about the major happenings in the state,” he said during a briefing.

Claiming that it “would not have happened without the knowledge” of Uddhav Thackeray, who was the chief minister, he added: “It was the compromise by Thackeray (to keep the alliance partners happy) for power and also a compromise on the agenda of Hindutva.”

Lowdown over row

Reports said that the grave was beautified with granite construction and lit up with LED lights. Amid the row, however, the Mumbai Police intervened and removed the lights while an initial investigation found that Yakub Memon’s family was carrying out the process for the graves of 14 members.

While Devendra Fadnavis, who heads the state home affairs department, had announced a police probe, Shiv Sena leader and leader of opposition Ambadas Danve hit back at the ruling alliance saying, “The allegations levelled by BJP against us are baseless. The question here is why the body was handed over to the family. The beautification of the grave with the help of granite and marble was done five years ago.”

(With inputs from ANI)

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