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Pratapgarh Fort – Illegal and Unauthorized construction demolished near fort

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Pune (VSK). In a major action against an illegal and unauthorized construction, near tomb of Afzal Khan, the 17th century knight from the court of Adilshah of Bijapur, was removed at the bottom of historic Pratapgarh fort near Mahabaleshwar. Heavy police deployment was done in addition to imposing Section 144 of the CrPC in the area during the overnight operation.

Satara district administration demolished unauthorised structures built on the government land around the tomb of the commander of Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, an official said. Around 1,500 police personals from nearby districts had deployed in the tomb area as the removal began.

Afzal Khan, a heavy-built aggressor known for his cruelty and fierceness, was slayed by Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj near the fort in Satara district in 1659. It was said that his headless body was buried at the spot and a tomb had been built there in his memory during British period.

Incidentally, Thursday, November 10 marked the 352nd anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji’s feat and slaying of Afzal Khan. Thousands of ‘Shiva Bhakt’ had gathered in the vicinity of the fort to mark the day but police refused them.

The unauthorized constructions had caused a long fought legal battle spread over many years. Over the last few years strife. Milin Ekbote, a former corporator from Pune and who heads the Pratapgad Utsav Samiti, had filed a Public Interest Litigation to remove the durgah. The court has ordered the demolition of the structure in 2007. But the then Maharashtra government tried to get a reversal on the order which was quashed by the SC.

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