RPI takes Indu Mill fight to Delhi

Nov 29 2012, 04:15 IST
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SummaryAthawale to lead march to Parliament today.

Athawale to lead march to Parliament today.

Republican Party of India (RPI) will march to Parliament Thursday to push for handover of Indu Mill land before December 6 for a Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar memorial.

“We will try to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar to ensure the land is handed over before December 6,” party president Ramdas Athawale said.

He threatened to forcibly occupy Indu Mill Complex if National Textile Corporation (NTC), which owns the land, created obstacles.

Meanwhile, there are indications the government may make an official announcement about the memorial before December 6.

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had met Union Textile Minster Anand Sharma in New Delhi earlier this month to expedite the handover.

Dalit organisations have planned protests across the state otherwise.

NTC is reluctant to part with the 12.5-acre plot in Prabhadevi, one of prime real estate localities in the city.

It believes the real estate potential of the plot is Rs 3,600 crore and is looking at ways to get compensation.

The state government had proposed a grand memorial near Chaityabhoomi, Dr Ambedkar’s final resting place in Dadar, a few years ago. The proposal is, however, pending because of the NTC stand.

Miffed Dalit activists had occupied the land for more than two weeks last year, causing major embarrassment to the state government.

The state and RPI were severely castigated by Bombay High Court for the occupation, with Justice D K Deshmukh comparing it with the 1993 demolition of Babri Masjid and saying it reflected erosion of government authority.

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