A controversy erupted in Gujarat’s Vadodara after idols of Hindu deities, including Hanuman and Ganesha, were found lying in the debris. As hinted by local citizens, the idols belonged to the small temples on the Old Padra road that were demolished for the ongoing work of a flyover there.
On Saturday, May 21, residents near the Navlakhi ground were shocked to see the sight of Hindu deities lying in the debris. Local residents led by Advocate and Activist Niraj Jain sat in protest on the site to demand rehabilitation of the demolished temples. The activists from Hindu organisations, including Viren Rami, Swejal Vyas, along with Jain started chanting Hanuman Chalisa in protest. Registering his concern about the helpless state in which the idols were found, Advocate Jain claimed that the idols belong to the small temples (deris) which were razed for the construction of the flyover on the Old Padra Road.
Jain said, “These are from the temples on the Old Padra Road. There are idols and images of deities along with Lord Hanuman.” After seeing the idols lying near the artificial pond at Navlakhi ground, Jain declared to sit on a protest at the site until local authorities did not come there.
Following the controversy, Vadodara Mayor Keyur Rokadia and Municipal Commissioner Shalini Agrawal reached the spot. The authorities ensured that the idols will be displaced and reestablished with respect on an urgent basis. Rokadia and Agrawal reportedly performed pooja of the idols after reaching the spot. The mayor said that the idol of Hanumanji will be placed near Shanidev Mandir at Tasali temporarily, and ensured that the idols will be established at their original location.
He said an investigation about whether the idols belonged to the temples at Old Padra Road near Rockstar Circle will also be launched. According to a Vadodara Municipal Corporation official, the idols did not belong to those from the temples on the Old Padra Road. “Idols from the temples so demolished were installed in a dignified manner at a Hanuman temple in Gorwa, Baliyadev temple in Salatvada and Bhathiji temple in Akota,” he informed.