Anna’s not first: In last 11 years, two statues led to fight at Gurgaon chowk

Social activist Anna Hazare's letter to BJP president Rajnath Singh saying a leader from his party was creating hurdles in installing his statue in Gurgaon, has generated interest in an otherwise nondescript roundabout in Old Gurgaon, near Jai Cinema.

Long before Anna's letter, other parties too have tried putting up statues of their idols at the Sector 4/7 chowk and failed.

In 2003, the chowk had a small statue of Vishwakarma installed by the Vishkarma Panchal Mandir Sabha. Maniram Sharma, a member of the Sabha and Indian National Lok Dal leader, said, "There was no Vishkarma chowk in Gurgaon. So we installed a small statue for worshippers. Our mandir is located a few metres away. But then other community leaders too wanted a go at this piece of land."

The same year, Haryana BJP leader and builder Umesh Aggarwal wrote to the municipal council, expressing his desire to build a statue of freedom fighter Lala Lajpat Rai and appease his Baniya community voters.

He submitted the proposal for a two-and-a-half foot stone statue of Rai. Under regulation number 8 and orders of the then-Deputy Commissioner, Aggarwal claimed that he got a go-ahead to build the statue on the 4/7 chowk in August 2003. "We installed the statue within a month and submitted a letter confirming the same to the council. It cost us nearly

Rs 2 lakh," Aggarwal said.

So, the chowk came to have two statues, with the statue of Rai towering over the other. This irked the Vishwakarma camp and they filed a case in the Gurgaon court asking for permission to build a bigger statue of their deity.

"The court put a stay on the land and, in 2010, gave a verdict in our favour," Aggarwal claimed, adding that he had documents to prove this.

... contd.

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