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Sena slams Owaisi for visiting Aurangzeb's tomb, says it is aimed at vitiating atmosphere in Maha

Aurangabad/ Mumbai: The Shiv Sena on Friday said AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi's visit to the tomb of Aurangzeb at Khuldabad in Maharashtra's Aurangabad district was aimed at vitiating the atmosphere of the state and the followers of the 17th century Mughal emperor will meet the same fate as his.

Owaisi on Thursday visited Aurangzeb's tomb before addressing a rally in Aurangabad city.

Shiv Sena MP and party spokesperson Sanjay Raut said Aurangzeb fought against Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and after his death with the Marathas for 25 years.

"He was an aggressor who invaded Maharashtra and destroyed its temples," Raut told reporters.

He added that by offering namaz at Aurangzeb's tomb, the Owaisi brothers (Akbaruddin and Asaduddin) were challenging Maharashtra.

"Owaisi brothers are doing politics with an aim to vitiate the atmosphere of Maharashtra. We have accepted this challenge. We buried Aurangzeb in this soil. His (Aurangzeb) followers, who want to do politics, will meet the same fate in Maharashtra.

"You keep coming to Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad) and pay obeisance to Aurangazeb, you needle us and Maharashtra. But I would like to say that the Marathas entombed Aurangzeb in the soil of Maharashtra. You (Owaisi) are now reading namaz on his tomb. Time will come that you will be in the same grave," he said.

Aurangzeb, considered the last effective Mughal emperor, ruled for nearly 49 years until his death in 1707. In the last two decades of his rule, he shifted his focus on the Deccan which brought him in direct conflict with the Marathas. Accused of being a bigot and a religious fanatic, Aurangzeb had ordered the execution of Sambhaji, the son of Chhatrapati Shivaji.

Former Shiv Sena MP Chandrakant Khaire and the party's Aurangabad district unit chief and MLC Ambadas Danve took a strong objection to Owaisi's visit to the tomb. But All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) Lok Sabha MP Imtiaz Jaleel said there was no need to draw a "different meaning" out of it.

"The motive behind Akbaruddin Owaisi's visit to Aurangzeb's tomb cannot be understood. We remember the statements he had made earlier...No one goes to the tomb of Aurangzeb. But if Owaisi is going there to create problems in the society, then we will not tolerate it," Khaire said.

Danve said, "It is not surprising that Owaisi went to Aurangzeb's tomb. The thinking of Nizam, Razakars (the paramilitary volunteer force deployed by the Nizam of Hyderabad to resist the princely state's integration with India during 1947-48) and the earlier Islamic dynasties is the same. As per that ideology, Owaisi visited the tomb. But those Muslims, who think about the welfare of the nation, should stay away from AIMIM and Owaisi."

Defending Owaisi, AIMIM leader Jaleel said, there are many tombs in Khuldabad and they have a history.

"Anyone who comes to Khuldabad visits the tomb of Aurangzeb. There is no need to draw a different meaning out of this," he said.

Talking to reporters, BJP MLA Nitesh Rane said, "Akbaruddin Owaisi knows that there is a weak government in Maharashtra and nobody can even touch him (even after visiting the tomb). This is the true Hindutva of this government!"

Later, he also tweeted saying, "I appeal to the police to stay away for 10 minutes. And after that, if we do not send him (Owaisi) to Aurangzeb, then we are not the true soldiers of Shivaji Maharaj."

Maharashtra Congress spokesman Sachin Sawant took a swipe at the BJP for demanding action against Owaisi.

"BJP leaders should explain under which section of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) can a person be booked for visiting a grave," Sawant said.

He demanded to know what action against BJP veteran L K Advani for visiting the grave of Jinnah in Pakistan. "Also, what action was taken against Nitish Kumar for visiting Jinnah's tomb?" he asked.

"Shivaji Maharaj built Afzal Khan's grave after killing him. This is Maharashtra's culture," he said.

Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Godse was also glorified by the BJP leaders, Sawant said, adding, "Do we put them in Jail? Entire country knows the fundamentalism of Owaisi. Congress opposes Owaisi the same way it stands against the RSS and the BJP. The BJP was using Owaisi for political gains." PTI AW PR ND MR NP

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