Shiv Sena workers forcibly unveil Shivaji statue near Mumbai Airport

MIAL was waiting for confirmations from several political parties and select dignataries to unviel the new statue

Mumbai: GVK Group’s Mumbai International Airport Ltd (MIAL) was caught by surprise as a group of over 100 Shiv Sena workers forcibly unveiled the bronze statue of the Maratha warrior king Shivaji near Sahar road on Saturday.

MIAL that runs Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, was waiting for confirmations from several political parties and select dignataries to unviel the new statue.

Shiv Sena’s divisional chief (eight to 10 shakhas or branches constitutue division) Anil Parab accepting the responsibility of unveiling of statue of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj said, “The statue was covered in plastic sheet and huge layers of dust had gathered on that plastic sheet and it was ugly site and we can’t allow Maharaj’s statue to look ugly."

“We had told MIAL authorities to get whichever dignitary they want but unveil statute at earliest but they ignored our repeated warnings, so we had to take this extreme step and forcibly unveil the statue of Shivaji Maharaj," Parab said.

MIAL had decided to install a six-metre tall statue on a 5,000 sq mt plot at the beginning of the newly constructed Sahar elevated road, near the Terminal 2 of Mumbai airport.

A spokeswoman of the Mumbai airport confirmed that the statue was unvieled forcibly but but declined to divulge details.

In the morning, a group of Shive Sena workers barged into statue area with musical instruments and flowers.

The workers garlanded the statue and celebrated this surprise installation by playing music.

MIAL has constructed this statue in order to remove an existing statue of Shivaji inside the airport terminal that is detering the development of terminal expansion.

Besides construction of an alternative Shivaji statue on the Western Express Highway near the airport, MIAL had undertaken beautification of surrounding area with a garden.

Jayprakash Shirgaonkar is the sculptor of the new statue on Sahar Road.

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