Shiv Sena demands re-installation of Shivaji statue in Goa

Panaji, March 7 Amid the backdrop of several statues being vandalized in different parts of the state, the Shiv Sena in Goa on Wednesday demanded the re-installation of a Shivaji Maharaj statue which was removed by the authorities last week, claiming it was illegally installed.

Speaking to reporters, state Shiv Sena President Jitesh Kamat said that the statue in Valpoi town in North Goa district should be re-installed at the earliest and that the issue was not about legality or illegality, but about the emotional attachment people have for the Hindu king.

"We condemn the decision of the Valpoi Municipality to arbitrarily remove the statue on Thursday. We want it re-installed as soon as possible. We are not even going into the legalities and illegalities. Shivaji is an emotional icon for us," Kamat said.

The statue was installed by a group of Shivaji followers last year at a traffic circle in Valpoi Hathwada area, which has a significant minority community population, creating tension in the area.

The statue was removed last Thursday morning by the municipal authorities, following which Section 144 of the CrPC had been imposed in the area by the North Goa district administration.

According to the Chief Officer of the Valpoi Municipal Council Cynthia Misquita, the statue was taken down because it was illegally installed.

"There was no permission to install the statue," the official said.