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Friday, September 30, 2022

Alwar SDM suspended days after demolition of 300-yr-old Shiv Mandir

Days after a 300-year-old Shiv Mandir was demolished in Alwar, the Ashok Gehlot-led Rajasthan Congress government suspended SDM (Sub-divisional Magistrate) Keshav Kumar Meena on Monday.

Republic World report on the matter says:

Through a notification, the Rajasthan government informed of Meena’s suspension, by exercising the powers given to it under Section-13 of Rajasthan Civil Services, 1958. The development comes after complaints were filed in Rajgarh police station of Alwar district against the SDM along with Executive Officer (EO) Banwari Lal Meena and Congress MLA Johari Lal Meena for hurting religious sentiments by breaking idols using a drill and a hammer, and also by entering temple premises wearing shoes.

A temple was razed and idols were mutilated as part of an anti-encroachment drive by the administration for widening a road in the town. However, Republic TV recently accessed the demolition proposal for 2021. According to the said proposal, there was a mention of the resumption of the Gaurav path, the construction of which was halted in 2016. The order directed to resume the construction of the path after demolishing an equal area from both sides of the road. Also, the illegal encroachment had to be removed to ensure the construction of the path. However, there was no mention of the removal of the temple. 

Apart from the temple, several shops and houses were also razed down in the district. Speaking on the same, the DM informed that a committee to look into the demolition of residential houses has already been constituted. The government official further stated that a ‘sensitive survey’ will be carried out, and on the basis of the same, necessary measures including rehabilitation will be taken. 

Is the SDM’s suspension enough? Whom does the buck stop with?

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