BJP leaders watch as VMC razes suspect’s shops

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Kishanwadi area on the Harni-Warasia road in Vadodara was tense on Thursday as the municipal corporation began demolishing a timber market and a Kali temple following murder of a local BJP leader the previous night.

The police had picked up president of the city Congress's OBC Mahila Morcha Kanku Machhi as a suspect after BJP worker Kishore Gondhali was shot dead at point blank range by two armed men near the same market. The police suspect the murder was outcome of a territory war between the two rival local leaders.

Today, the Vadodara Municipal Corporation cracked down on Machhi's timber market without any prior notice and also demolished a nearby temple in Kishanvadi area in the presence of top city BJP leaders.

Tension prevailed in Gadheda Market area of Kishanvadi as the VMC team reached the spot around 9.30 am.

Two earth-movers ran over sheds of Machhi's timber market and the Kali temple in the presence of BJP MP from Vadodara Balkrishna Shukla, city Mayor Jyoti Pandya, MLA Manisha Vakil, Vadodara city BJP president Bharat Dangar, VMC standing committee chairman Vijay Shah and a number of corporators.

Shah was seen persuading people to stay clear of the site that was being demolished.

"Generally, we do not remain present during such drives. However, we had come to condole the family of BJP worker Kishor Gondhali and saw the demolition going on, so we stayed back," Shah said.

Most of the leaders were present at the site till well past 4 pm.

Demolition team allowed local residents to shift the main idol of Goddess Kali.

However, a few smaller idols were seized by the team along with truck-loads of wooden and iron scrap from the site. With the help of drillers and earth-movers, they finally razed the temple even as police blocked traffic at some points and cordoned off the area.

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