Ploy to convert ‘Killa Vandangad’ to ‘Pir Killa Vandangad’ fails; Forest Department issues clarification !

Beware of those who are trying to erase the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji, and stop the conspiracy of religious fanatics! – Shri. Sunil Ghanwat, Hindu Janajagruti Samiti

Wai (Dist. Satara, Maharashtra) : An attempt was made to change the history of Wai (Dist. Satara) taluka by changing the name of the historical ‘Killa (fort) Vandangad’ to ‘Pir Killa Vandangad’. Hindu Janajagruti Samiti immediately brought this serious issue to light and submitted a petition to the Hon. Chief Minister, Archaeological Department and Forest Department. The petition called for the retention of the name as ‘Vandangad Fort’ failing which an agitation would be launched. Accordingly, Wai (Dist. Satara) Forest Range Officer S.S. Magar gave a written assurance to Hindu Janajagruti Samiti that the name of ‘Fort Vandangad’ has never been changed by the Forest Department and it will never be changed. Hence the plot of religious fanatics to usurp Fort Vandangad has failed. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s forts are a symbol of our self-esteem, prowess and bravery. Shri. Sunil Ghanwat, in a statement released by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti, has appealed to the people to be wary of those who are erasing the history of Chhatrapati Shivaji and to foil the ploy of religious fanatics!

There is an ancient Hindu Shiva temple at Fort Vandangad in Wai taluka. Some fans of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj had set up leaf sheds for devotees at this place. Some religious fanatics had complained to the Wai Forest Range Officer about alleged encroachment on the forest department land. While corresponding with the Forest Department, the religious fanatics had deliberately referred to ‘Killa Vandangad’ as ‘Pir Killa Vandangada’. After the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti came to know about this, the Samiti took note of it and submitted a statement in this regard. In this petition it was said that Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj established Hindavi Swarajya in Maharashtra and built many forts. These forts have played an important role in the establishment of Hindavi Swarajya. These forts are the heritage and historical treasures of Maharashtra. This being so, some religious fanatics are deliberately changing the names of forts and creating communal tension in the society; and some government departments are falling prey to their conspiracies. It is an insult to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj for the Forest Department to refer to ‘Killa Vandangada’ as ‘Pir Killa Vandangad’. The Samiti had demanded that the Forest Department should explain why the fort was referred to as ‘Pir Killa Vandangad’, failing which it would start agitation against the stealthy name change.

In a clarification issued by the Forest Department, it is said that after receiving any letter or application in the government correspondence, it is forwarded “as is” for further action. Therefore, in the correspondence for processing the original complaint, it was mentioned as ‘Pir Killa Vandangad’. The reply also merely says that ‘henceforth care will be taken’. Such a reply by the Forest Department reeks of irresponsibility. The Samiti has taken an exception to this reply and demanded that suitable action be initiated against the concerned officials, Shri. Sunil Ghanwat said in the statement.

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