Facing the ire of the Bombay High Court, the Maharashtra government Thursday assured that it would attempt to amicably remove Dalit activists who have encroached a National Textiles Corporation mill premises here since the past nearly three weeks.
Indu Mills' 12.5 acres premises in central Mumbai is located adjacent to Chaityabhoomi where Dalit icon B.R. Ambedkar's mortal remains were cremated.
The activists were demanding that the central government allot land at Indu Mills to the state government free of cost for the construction of Ambedkar's international memorial.
"We shall make efforts to solve the issue and get the activists to vacate the mill premises voluntarily within a week. If the government does not succeed, then they would be evicted forcibly within three days after that," Additional Government Pleader G.W. Mattos told the division bench of Justice D.K. Deshmukh and Justice A.V. Mohta.
The petition was filed by the National Textiles Corporation seeking directions to police to evict the Republic Sena activists.
"You should remove them by force. Would you have negotiated with the terrorists who entered the Taj Hotel? The mob has entered, illegally, land which belongs to the government of India," the court said.
On Dec 6, a large number of Republican Sena activists broke into the mill premises and refused to move out till the land was allotted for the memorial.
This week, the Maharashtra legislature adopted a unanimous resolution moved by Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, demanding that the land be handed over free of cost to the state government to construct a memorial at its own cost.