Mumbai, May 18 (IANS): The security in and around the grave of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Khuldabad was tightened following calls by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to 'uproot' it, here on Wednesday.
While MNS activist Gajanan Kale on Tuesday questioned the need for preserving Aurangzeb's grave, BJP MLC Prasad Lad threatened to remove the small monument which is one of the major tourist attractions in and around Aurangabad.
In the wake of the potential threats to the grave, the Maharashtra Police and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) have deployed additional guards and a van at the site, though it is still open for public.
Demanding that the extra security must be immediately removed, Lad asked whether this is the 'Hindutva brand' of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, when chanting Hanuman Chalisa is considered sedition.
"This is the same Aurangzeb who executed Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj (the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj), demolished Hindu temples to construct mosques. Now, the CM is providing security to Aurangzeb's grave. Is this Sonia Gandhi-Sharad Pawar style of Hindutva or the Hindutva of the late Balasaheb Thackeray," Lad asked.
He called upon the state government to immediately yank off the new security measures and vowed to uproot the Mughal Emperor's grave.
Earlier, MNS's Kale wondered what was the need to retain Aurangzeb's grave and said it must be removed, just as the Shiv Sena founder (Balasaheb Thackeray) also wanted.
If the grave is demolished, then nobody would go and visit it, Kale justified, in an oblique reference to the recent trip there by AIMIM leader and Telangana MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi.
As a huge political row erupted, Congress General Secretary Sachin Sawant said since the ASI belongs to the Centre, why the BJP-MNS are not asking the Narendra Modi government to restrict or ban entry to Aurangzeb's tomb.
He also presented pictures and videos of several BJP leaders who have gone and prayed at the tomb in the past, but now the party is keeping quiet on them.
Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar has asked whether the BJP-MNS were attempting to create a new row in Maharashtra over Aurangzeb's tomb.
Some BJP-MNS leaders have also threatened to bury Akbaruddin Owaisi in a grave right beside Aurangzeb's tomb.