PUNE: Sambhaji Brigade, Maratha radical outfit has extended support to Santbhumi Sanrakshak Sangharsh Samiti (committee formulated to protect three hillocks near pilgrim centre Dehu).
Both organisations have demanded protection of pilgrim spots Bhandara Dongar, Bhalchandra Dongar and Ghoradeshwar hills located in Maval and Khed talukas on Tuesday in Pune. It is said that Saint Tukaram Maharaj spent his time on these hillocks and had written several abhangas (devotional poetry sung in praise of Lord Vitthal) there. The organisations claimed these hills are under attack due to heavy construction activity despite being declared as state-protected heritage sites. The organisations alleged that government agencies are doing nothing to stop mining, construction and heavy industries are being run on their slopes.
Warkaris feel these activities are proving dangerous to temples as cracks are noticed in the structure.
Samiti president Madhusudan Patil Maharaj, at a press conference, said, “The State government should stop construction on the hills in the name of development. They should declare compensation to the developers and farmers so they can stop construction. The State should protect hills as they are historical and spiritual monuments.”
He said, “The State government should arrest Sambhaji Bhide for creating drift in communities by making provocative statements.”
Sambhaji Brigade, Bharatiya Bahujan Mahasangh, Republican Sena, Swabhiman Shetkari Organisation have extended support to Santbhumi Swaraksha Sangharsh Samiti.
The State government declared three hills as protected monument in 2011, which includes the private land parcels owned by local farmers. The members said that half the land has been excluded from the protected area by the authorities. The farmers have sold the lands to private entities and developers, who have started construction activities on hills.