Situation at Meetha Neem Dargah near Vidhan Bhavan turned volatile on Wednesday morning when a squad of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) reached there to remove encroachments. The road and nearby areas of the Dargah have been encroached by several vendors including eateries, tea stalls, flower and garland shops etc. However, as soon as the NMC squad descended at the spot and started removing the encroachments, the news spread like a wild fire among devotees and the vendors. Within minutes, a horde of devotees and vendors started creating ruckus and protested the action of NMC squad. The situation was brought under control when the squad left the place but not before directing the vendors to remove the encroachments by themselves within seven days.
The NMC action was in accordance with the directions of various courts.
Later, a delegation of hundreds of devotees and vendors led by former Mayor duo Rajesh Tambe and Kishor Dorle and Corporators Yashwant Kumbhalkar, Aslam Khan met the Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar. The delegation strongly opposed the NMC move to remove encroachments at Meetha Neem Dargah.
The delegation informed Hardikar that when Tajuddin Baba was alive, he used to sit under shadow of a tree daily in 1915-20. The tree got uprooted in 1993. Rajesh Tambe, himself a Tajuddin Baba devotee, set up an umbrella near the tree and since then the devotees perform their puja and other religious rituals there.
The then Municipal Commissioner T Chandrashekhar, during his tenure had given city’s roads a facelift which the citizens still remember. Respecting the sentiments of devotees, Chandrashekhar had widened the footpath in large measure and later in the vicinity of the very same footpath, Samadhi of Tajuddin Baba was set up. He had also planned to cover the area with marble tiles. The area was later illuminated with dozens of lights.
The delegation informed the Municipal Commissioner that there is not a single encroachment. After listening to the delegation, Hardikar gave seven days’ time to the encroachers to vacate the place and apprise the court about the reality. He said that there in nothing personal in the NMC action but following court directives is duty of NMC.
The delegation later said that they will apprise the court about ground reality as intervener.