Dispute over 9th century king Mihir Bhoj's legacy escalates again in poll-bound MP

Bhopal, Sep 28 (IANS): A dispute over the legacy of 9th century king Mihir Bhoj has again erupted in Madhya Pradesh with just over a month to go for the crucial state Assembly polls.

The fresh round of controversy erupted after a mahapanchayat of the Gurjar community held in Gwalior on September 25.

The mahapanchayat, which was attended by several politicians, including MLAs belonging to the Gurjar community from Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, was called to strengthen their voice over the monarch's legacy.

Fuelling tensions again in the Gwalior-Chambal region ahead of the Assembly elections, the mahapanchayat turned nasty as the participants went on a rampage at the District Collectorate's (DC) office, pelting stones, and damaging vehicles, including those of the DC and Superintendent of Police.

Police had to use lathi charge and tear gas shells to control the crowd.

Some police personnel, as well as at least a dozen protesters, were injured as a result of the violence.

Later, about two dozen of protesters were detained and 35 leaders of the Gurjar community were booked under the charges of rioting and attacking public servants.

The Gwalior police have lodged an FIR against BSP MP from Bijnor Malook Nagar, SP MLA from Sardhna Atul Pradhan and sitting Congress leader from Morena Rakesh Mawai.

Although the debate over Mihir Bhoj’s legacy was centuries old as reports suggest, a fresh controversy in Madhya Pradesh erupted after a life-size statue of the king was installed in Gwalior city's Chirwal area in 2019.

The Gwalior Municipal Corporation (GMC) prefixed the word "Gurjar" with the inscription of Mihir Bhoj's name on a plinth of the life-size statue, which did not go down well with the Rajput community.

The mention of the word paved the way for a dispute between the Rajputs and Gurjars as the two communities claim Mihir Bhoj's legacy.

In 2021, the dispute reached the Madhya Pradesh High Court and since then the Chirwal area has been declared a prohibited zone and police personnel have deployed for the security.

However, the dispute over the matter continued to escalate between these two communities in Gwalior where both the communities have a sizable population.

On their part, the Gurjars argued that Mihir Bhoj belonged to the community and therefore the word "Gurjar" needed to be added with his name on all his statues across the country.



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Title: Dispute over 9th century king Mihir Bhoj's legacy escalates again in poll-bound MP

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