Pune, Jan 22 (PTI) Various Hindutva bodies under the aegis of Sakal Hindu Samaj on Sunday took out a protest march in Maharashtra's Pune city against "love jihad", illegal conversions and cow slaughter. The 'Hindu Jan Akrosh Morcha' started at the historical Lal Mahal and culminated at the statue of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj in Deccan area, a distance of about 5 km.
The morcha organisers demanded the death anniversary of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, eldest son of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, be declared as 'Balidan Din' (Martyr's Day). Sambhaji Maharaj was tortured to death on the orders of Mughal emperor Aurangazeb in 1689.
Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Shivendra Raje Bhosale, his counterpart from Hyderabad, T Raja Singh, and several political leaders joined the rally. "Cases of love jihad, illegal conversions, cow slaughter etc have increased in the country. I demand the state government, as well as the Centre, bring a law against love Jihad," Singh said.
"Love jihad" is a term often used by right-wing activists to allege a ploy by Muslim men to lure Hindu women into religious conversion through marriage.
Singh said he is a follower of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj.
"Politicians should stop doing politics over Sambhaji Maharaj. Those who are doing politics on this topic, I ask people to boycott such leaders," he said without taking any names. Earlier this month, the BJP held protests across Maharashtra against Opposition leader Ajit Pawar, who belongs to NCP, over his remark on Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj.
Pawar had told the Legislative Assembly that Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was a "swarajya rakshak" and it is incorrect on part of some people to call him "dharmaveer".
Shivendra Raje Bhosale, who represents the Satara assembly constituency, said, "Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was the pioneer of the Swarajya movement which also included protecting the religion. So far what we have read in the history is Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj was a dharmaveer". PTI COR NSK NSK