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Rajasthan: 6 cops injured in stone pelting as villagers protest demolition of temple

Jodhpur: Six policemen were injured on Wednesday when a group of agitated villagers protesting against the demolition of a temple pelted stones at them in a village in Sirohi district’s Abu Road area, officials said.

The Rajasthan High Court had ordered the removal of the temple structure which encroached upon a pond in Satpur village, they said, adding that nearly two dozen people have been rounded up for the violence.

The protesters blocked the road to Abu Road town shouting religious slogans. Police resorted to mild lathicharge to disperse the crowd, but angry people began pelting stones at the police in which six cops, including an ASP and a DSP, were injured, the officials said. Sirohi Superintendent of Police Mamta Gupta said that the situation is under control in the village now. “The action (demolition of temple) was taken as per the high court direction and the locals were protesting against it,” Gupta said.

Meanwhile, some right wing organisations have announced a one-day bandh in Abu Road on Thursday in protest against the demolition of temple.

According to SDM (Abu Road) Neelam Lakhara, one Kantilal Upadhyay had moved the high court in November 2018 raising the issue of encroachment on the water pond of Satpur and stating that the temple was built on the boundary of the pond.

“After hearing the petition, the court on November 17, 2022 directed the Sirohi administration to remove the temple terming it as an encroachment and submit the compliance report on November 24 in the court,” Lakhara said, adding that in pursuance of this order, the administration had issued a notice to remove the temple.

On Wednesday morning, district administration officers accompanied by police reached the spot to demolish the temple.

“Authorities managed to demolish the temple at around 9 am. In protest of the demolition, villagers blocked the road shouting religious slogans,” said the SDM.

District collector Bhanwar Lal said that the pond is spread on an area of 14 bighas marred by the encroachments, which have been removed now.

However, villagers alleged that the petitioner had personal interest in demolition of the temple and they tried to barge into his house.

But police foiled their bid to enter the house, the officials said.

Meanwhile, police have rounded up about two dozen persons and have barricaded the entire area. Heavy police deployment has been made in the village to ward off any escalation of the situation, the officials said.

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