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Tense Standoff in Calangute as Panchayat Puts Removal of Shivaji Maharaj Statue on Hold Following Protests; Demands for Apology and Increased Security



Calangute is currently gripped by a tense standoff as the local panchayat has temporarily suspended its directive to remove the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj near the Calangute Police Station. The controversial order had sparked widespread protests by hundreds of Shivaji Maharaj supporters, who gathered in large numbers to voice their opposition.

The atmosphere in Calangute remains charged as Shiv premis, ardent followers of Shivaji Maharaj, and various Hindu outfits have refused to leave the vicinity of the panchayat. They are demanding an apology from Sarpanch Joseph Sequeira and other members of the panchayat for their decision to remove the revered statue.

The protest took a volatile turn when an angry crowd resorted to pelting stones at the Calangute panchayat office. Amidst the chaos, a Tata Nexon car was damaged. The situation prompted the intervention of senior police officers, including SP Nidhin Valsan and SDPO Jivba Dalvi, who are on-site to maintain order and control the crowd.

In the midst of the mounting tensions, Sarpanch Joseph Sequeira has written a letter to Chief Minister Sawant expressing concerns about the potential for communal tension and breach of peace in the village. He has requested 24-hour police patrolling to ensure the safety and security of the area.

In response to the escalating situation, the panchayat has decided to keep its decision to remove the Shivaji Maharaj statue on hold. The letter containing the removal directive has been temporarily suspended. This development has provided a momentary reprieve for the protesters, who remain steadfast in their demand for an apology and increased security measures.

The incident has highlighted the deep reverence and emotional connection that the people of Calangute hold for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. It has also raised broader discussions about the preservation of historical and cultural symbols across the country and the need for inclusive decision-making processes.

As the standoff continues, the situation in Calangute remains highly charged, with both sides firmly standing their ground. The local administration and authorities are likely to engage in further dialogues to address the concerns raised by the Shivaji Maharaj supporters and work towards a peaceful resolution that respects the sentiments of the community.