WATCH: Varanasi Sarva Seva Sangh Demolition Begins; 10 Workers Detained After Protests!!!
Twelve buildings on the campus of the Sarva Seva Sangh in Varanasi were demolished on Saturday morning, making headlines worldwide. Union members were outraged by the demolition drive involving six bulldozers stationed on campus.
The tensions rose as union members demonstrated against the destruction. Ten workers taking part in the protest were taken into custody by the police, which escalated the situation. Images of the devastation spread throughout the web.
The Big Picture
The Sarva Seva Sangh site has over 80 homes, workplaces, and other living spaces across its 13 acres. Police, government, and railroad authorities took notice as these buildings were ruthlessly removed.
As the destruction spread, people from all walks of life, including the Sarva Seva Sangh members and representatives from different political parties, gathered around the Rajghat campus.
Workers made an emotional appeal, asking people throughout the country to help them protect the site that holds so much significance for the lives of Mahatma Gandhi and Vinoba Bhave.
Efforts To Maintain Seva Sangh By Its Leaders
Priyanka Gandhi, general secretary of the Congress party, and Digvijay Singh, former chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, both spoke up in the past to defend these landmarks.
They were unsuccessful, however, as the Supreme Court denied the appeal to rescue the buildings, clearing the route for their destruction.
Last month, the railway showed ownership of the site by evacuating the colonies and offices on the former Sarva Seva Sangh grounds. The complex includes a post office that will be demolished as well.
Demolition begins at Sarva Seva Sangh, Varanasi- an organisation considered to be heritage of Gandhi, Vinoba and Jaiprakash. Sarva Seva Sangh was locked in a land dispute with Railways. The district magistrate had ordered in favour of Railways following which the campus was… pic.twitter.com/25onTcqGSI
— Piyush Rai (@Benarasiyaa) August 12, 2023
At 10 a.m., after police had been on the scene since 8 a.m. and administration and police had arrived by 9 a.m., demolition began. Before the demolition using bulldozers could begin, the protesting workers were persuaded to depart. The buildings fell one by one.
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Several protesters were arrested for participating in the demonstrations; they included activists Nandlal Master, Jagruti Rahi, Dr. Anoop Shramik, and others. In response to the bulldozer action in Varanasi, Sarvodaya workers across the country decided to go without food for a day.