Source: Yahoo! News
Wire Service: Reuters
On September 10, 2004 Reuters reported, "Hardline Hindus plan to tear down the controversial tomb of a 17th century Muslim general on Sunday, in a grim echo of the 1992 razing of a mosque that sparked some of India's worst religious riots. Thousands of police have been deployed around the tomb near Mahabaleshwar, a hill resort about 155 miles from Bombay, to prevent communal violence as tensions rise ahead of elections for the Maharashtra state assembly next month. Some Hindus want the tomb of the general, Afzalkhan, removed because it lies near the fort of the Hindu warrior king he tried to murder, Shivaji, whom many people worship like a god. 'Afzalkhan is an insult to Hindus. We will climb the hill and demolish his tomb,' Vyankatesh Abdeo, a leader of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which started the campaign, told Reuters. The campaign organizers say they will bring 30,000 people to the site. Muslims consider the tomb holy, and for years, several have traveled there to offer prayers and seek help. But a year ago authorities closed off the site because of the controversy."