JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government has suspended Rajgarh municipal council chairman Satish Duharia and executive officer Banwari Lal Meena over the civic body demolishing multiple structures including two temples in Alwar district’s Rajgarh town last week.
The demolition triggered a political firestorm after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accused the Ashok Gehlot government of using bulldozers on Hindu religious places including a 300-year-old Shiv temple on April 17. Rajasthan’s ruling Congress sought to rebut the BJP, underlining that the Rajgarh municipal council that ordered the anti-encroachment drive was controlled by the BJP.
The civic body chairman Satish Duharia is a local BJP leader.
An order to suspend the two municipal officials by Rajasthan’s local self government department cited a preliminary inquiry conducted into the demolition drive on April 17.
“It was found that municipality chairman Satish Duharia acted in violation of the law. The department has decided to conduct a judicial inquiry into the matter and since the allegations against Duharia have been found to be prima facie true, he is suspended from the post of chairman and member of the municipality with immediate effect,” the order in Hindi said.
The department issued a second order to suspend Banwari Lal Meena, the executive officer of the municipality, on charges of dereliction of duty and unlawful conduct.
The orders were issued on Monday, around the same time that the state government also suspended Rajgarh sub-divisional officer Keshav Kumar Meena and transferred him out.
Rajasthan BJP president Satish Poonia said the Congress government, which was once accusing the BJP board in Rajgarh, has finally taken action against guilty officers. “People know it on whose behalf the temples were demolished and whose immoral thinking was implemented by the official,” he said.
Poonia, however, hasn’t commented on Satish Duharia’s suspension.