Goa Minister Subhash Phal Desai Injured in Stone Pelting Incident During Unveiling of Shivaji Maharaj's Statue
Goa Minister Subhash Phal Desai Injured in Stone Pelting Incident During Unveiling of Shivaji Maharaj's Statue

Panaji:  In a distressing turn of events, Goa Minister Subhash Phal Desai sustained minor injuries on Monday amidst a stone pelting incident that marred the unveiling of a statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj in South Goa's Sao Jose De Areal village. This incident unfolded a day after tensions escalated in the village over the installation of the revered Maratha King's statue.

Desai, who serves as the Social Welfare Minister of Goa, encountered resistance as he was leaving the village after the ceremonial unveiling of Shivaji Maharaj's statue. A group of locals began protesting and hurling stones, resulting in Desai sustaining minor head injuries. Speaking to reporters, Desai revealed that despite engaging in discussions with the protesting villagers, they resorted to violence against the installation.

Expressing his commitment to communal harmony, Desai stated his reluctance to file a police complaint against the villagers. He disclosed that the statue had been installed on private property donated by a Muslim resident. The unrest in Sao Jose De Areal commenced on Sunday, with residents protesting against the installation of Shivaji's statue, sparking a confrontation between opposing groups. Law enforcement authorities swiftly intervened, deploying a significant number of police personnel to restore order. "The situation in the village is now under control," affirmed a senior police officer.

Commenting on the situation, a local Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader lamented the exploitation of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj's legacy for communal political gains, deeming it unfortunate. Today marks the 394th birth anniversary of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, a significant occasion celebrated across the country.

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