Memorial in honour of 26/11 Mumbai attacks martyrs in Kalyan missing
Locals claimed that the helmet of the Boots, Gun and Helmet Memorial at Mahatma Phule chowk had gone missing seven months ago. Now, the entire memorial is missing.Updated: Nov 21, 2020, 23:56 IST
Just a week ahead of the November 26 anniversary, the memorial that was raised in honour of the martyrs of 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack has gone missing.
Locals claimed that the helmet of the Boots, Gun and Helmet Memorial at Mahatma Phule chowk had gone missing seven months ago. Now, the entire memorial is missing.
Kalyan’s hawkers union president Arvind More, who has been following up on the memorial, claimed that the Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) has failed to maintain the memorial.
“The helmet had gone missing seven months back. Now the entire memorial is not in place. I have tried inquiring with the civic body about it but they are clueless about where the memorial has gone, whether someone had stolen it or it was taken away for repair,” said More.
Ironically KDMC officials are also not aware of whether the memorial was taken away for repair and when it will be placed at the chowk.
“I have no clue about the memorial. Will check with other departments of my ward if they have taken it for repair and maintenance,” said Bhagaji Bhangre, ward officer KDMC.
Earlier, locals had complained about the memorial being misused by drunkards who used to dump waste there. Stray dogs sat along it and also it was ill maintained. The memorial was built in 2012 in the memory of the five police officers who lost their lives in the terror attack on November 26, 2008.
A total of ₹1.5L to ₹2L was spent to build the base structure with railings.
This particular memorial is located in one of the prime locations of Kalyan station road. It is surrounded by roads that connect to the Rukminibai civic hospital, traffic police office, tehsildar office, forest department office and Kalyan court.
Every year, on November 26, the traffic and local police visit the memorial offering prayers to the martyrs.
More said that the civic body used to maintain it sometimes. However, it was in complete neglect over the last few months.
Sandeep Singh, 30, who runs a small stall near the chowk, said, “The memorial is missing for almost seven months now. I have not seen anyone repairing it or inspecting it. It might have being stolen during the night.”
Kalyan’s Sunil Pankar, 48 and retired from Navy, said, “The best way to make sure such memorials are protected and maintained is to involve public and interested groups, and let them look after the memorial on a regular basis. There is lack of such initiatives that the civic body should emphasise.”