Legal battle over demolitions near tomb of Afzal Khan in Maharashtra

Source: The post is based on the article “Legal battle over demolitions near tomb of Afzal Khan in Maharashtra” published in Indian Express on 15th November 2022

What is the News?

The Supreme Court(SC) has sought reports from the Maharashtra government on the demolition drive conducted around the tomb of Afzal Khan.

Who was Afzal Khan?

Afzal Khan was a 17th-century commander of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur.

With Chhatrapati Shivaji’s rise and increasing control of the region, Afzal Khan was seen as the man to subdue him in the Deccan.

Afzal Khan put together a force of 10,000 cavalry and marched from Bijapur to Wai, plundering Shivaji’s territory along the way.

Shivaji called a council of war at the fort of Pratapgarh, where most of his advisers urged him to make peace. However, Shivaji was not eager to back down and he set up a meeting with Khan.

During the meeting, an embrace between the two turned into an attack in which Shivaji emerged victorious. This was followed by a rout of the Adilshahi army at the hands of the Marathas.

As per Maratha sources, Khan’s remains were buried at the fort and a tomb was constructed on Shivaji’s orders.

In an act of grace, Shivaji erected a tomb over the remains of Afzul Khan and built a tower in his honour which is still known by the name ‘Afzul Buruj’ at Pratapgarh.

The sword of Afzal Khan was preserved as a valued trophy in the armoury of Shivaji and his descendants.

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