An ancient sacred peepal tree was also cut down
~ The building plan submitted to the BMC authorities doesn’t mention the temple of worship by the locals.
~ Local villagers from near and far who worshipped at the temple come together to file an FIR
Mumbai : The World Vipassana Pagoda was built on a land donated for setting up the Pagoda back in 2009. It had clearly stated that they would not demolish any old structure especially a temple of worship which has been in existence on the land for centuries and worshipped by villagers near and far. Inspite of this assurance, the ‘Swayambhu Jagartu Devasthanam Shri Vangna Devi Temple’ was demolished by Pagoda Sanstha on May 14, 2023. The trustees of the institute also felled a sacred peepal tree near the temple. A FIR has been filed at the Gorai Police station against the trustees on May 18, 2023.
In 2019, the trustees had made their first attempt to break down the temple, however, due to the local intervention, they had withdrawn with an assurance that they will never do so under any circumstance. This breach of trust has hurt the sentiments of the local devotee. Harish Sutar, a complainant in this case said, ” The trustees have submitted a building plan to the BMC which does not mention the temple. Whereas this temple has been in existence for centuries and thousands of devotees have been worshipping at the temple since their ancestors. Inspite of the assurances, the trustees have gone ahead with their expansion program demolishing the temple and the sacred tree not caring of hurting the sentiments of the local villagers
Anand Lamhade, Senior Vice President, Operations and Projects, Water Kingdom and Esselworld Bird Park said, “Villagers and devotees have been protesting outside the pagoda demanding restoration of the temple of Goddess Wangana Devi and giving them a chance to worship regularly.”
However, the trustees at the Pagoda have remained unresponsive to their appeals.