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Gujarat Home Minister Brags About Demolishing 108 Mazars, Says State's Bulldozer Is Everywhere

"Now, Dada’s [Bhupendra Patel's] bulldozer is moving around in every nook and corner of the state so that no temple or devsthan can be removed while hatching a conspiracy," he said.
Gujarat home minister Harsh Sanghavi. Photo: X/@sanghaviharsh

New Delhi: Gujarat home minister Harsh Sanghavi said on Wednesday that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led state government has demolished 108 mazars in its crackdown on ‘illegal encroachment’. He also claimed in the assembly that chief minister Bhupendra Patel was sending a bulldozer across the state to deal with such structures.

“Today, the point mentioned by Amitbhai [the BJP MLA from Ellisbridge]… He said that a derasar was removed in Jamalpur. Now, Dada’s [Bhupendra Patel’s] bulldozer is moving around in every nook and corner of the state so that no temple or devsthan can be removed while hatching a conspiracy. Nobody knows where will it [the bulldozer] go,” he said, according to Hindustan Times.

The “sudden” appearances of mazars was a “conspiracy”, the home minister claimed in his speech meant to seek approval of the budgetary allocation for his ministry. “In Uparkot, it was not known where (and when) all mazars were built. How can it be built suddenly?” he said.

“In all, 108 mazars have been demolished (in the state) and the state’s properties have been opened… The encroachment around Somnath has been removed. This bulldozer of Dada can enter a 20-ft wide street and an 80-m wide road,” he continued.

Sanghavi also used this opportunity to criticise those arguing that late-night Navratri celebrations were causing a disturbance. “Navratri was allowed (to be celebrated) the whole night so that the people of Gujarat could worship the goddess and play raas throughout the night. Considering the Supreme Court and (Gujarat) high court and its fear, we definitely got the sound (of music) decreased,” he said.

“But because Navratri could be allowed till late night, it brought Diwali to numerous households. To get a figure of that (how many households), one needs to ask the poor, the vendors and those running small restaurants,” he continued. “I made a statement (then) that if the people of my state cannot perform garba then would they do so in Pakistan? The very next day of this statement, people from a party (moved) a PIL in the HC. They have a problem if people of the state perform garba till late in the night. Can’t people perform garba till late? We had to face that situation.”

The Wire has reported in the past about Sanghavi and Patel’s eagerness to raze Muslim structures – while seemingly ignoring Hindu ones that violate the same encroachment laws.

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