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Uproar in Barwani as District Administration Removes Gandhi’s Mortal Remains

Civic officers armed with a JCB machine reached the site as early as 4am and excavated mortal remains of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai.

Vivek Trivedi | News18

Updated:July 27, 2017, 6:52 PM IST
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Uproar in Barwani as District Administration Removes Gandhi’s Mortal Remains
File photo of a JCB machine. Representative image: Reuters
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Barwani: Chaotic scenes were witnessed in Barwani district of Madhya Pradesh as the administration removed mortal remains of Mahatma Gandhi, Kasturba Gandhi and Mahadev Desai at the local Rajghat as part of the process undertaken for closure of gates at the Sardar Sarovar Dam.

Civic officers armed with a JCB machine reached the site as early as 4am and excavated mortal remains of the three historical figures.

After excavating the pots containing the remains, the administration started to leave but locals led by saint Ramdas opposed the ‘furtive’ move.

Shortly thereafter, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar and her supporters too reached there and opposed the proceedings. Locals also opposed the administration’s act of carrying mortal remains of great personalities in a dirty JCB machine.

They also took strong objection to the fact that the memorial was being removed without any prior intimation.

Alleging that the remains were not removed as per the norm, the activists protested the move forcing the officials to walk away from the scene. They alleged that the mortal remains were taken away with disrespect, instead of carried away with full honours. Hurriedly, the administration summoned local sarpanch and got the papers signed.

Earlier, as soon as the administration had reached the site, Anil Trivedi, son of Kashinath Trivedi, the founder of the Rajghat in Barwani, reached there. He took strong objection to the act saying that it was gross disrespect to the father of the nation as his remains were removed furtively. As the discontent continued, police also used force to disperse the protesting locals.

One of the NBA activists, Rahul Yadav, told News18 that the police forcefully took the remains away and also lodged FIR against seven persons for hindering their action.

Gandhian Kashinath Trivedi had brought these mortal remains of the three reputed historical figures to Barwani in 1965 and the memorial was completed on Feb 12, 1965. Trivedi had envisaged the place as pilgrimage for the Gandhians.

As all the gates of Sardar Sarovar Dam are expected to be closed by July 31, the memorial will be submerged.

Meanwhile, a dozen oustees are persisting with the relay hunger strike on Narmada river banks in Barwani against the ‘forceful’ shifting of locals by July 31.
| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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