A public meeting was held by the district administration on Wednesday to elicit views on installation of a statue of freedom fighter Henja Naik.
Anand Asnotikar, Fisheries, Science and Technology Minister, B.N. Krishnaiah, Deputy Commissioner, Balakrishna, Superintendent of Police, and other senior officials participated in the meeting.
There was a dispute over the place where the statue was to be installed. Mr. Asnotikar was interested in installing it on the Karwar beach opposite the Warship Museum. But some organisations demanded that the statue be installed on Karwar-Kodibag road near the grave of Hanja Naik. This led to a heated argument. Later, it was decided to install the statue on the Karwar beach.
But some people raised objection to it stating that as the statue was a permanent structure, the CRZ rules did not permit its installation there. Mr. Asnotikar said that the district administration would consult the CRZ authorities over the matter.
The meeting assumed significance as some organisations had forcibly named Karwar-Kodibag road after Henja Naik a few days ago in protest against the move to naming it after Vasant Asnotikar, former MLA of Karwar and father of Mr. Anand Asnotikar.
Mr. Asnotikar declared that the statue would be inaugurated by the Chief Minister during the Karavali festival. Soon after the decision, Mr. Asnotikar's supporters raised slogans in his favour which angered the Deputy Commissioner who snubbed them. The supporters also garlanded Mr. Asnotikar soon after the meting. The organisations which had forcibly named the road after Henja Naik declared that they would install another statue near the grave of the freedom fighter. Mr. Asnotikar requested them not to do so at least till the statue of Henja Naik was inaugurated on the beach by the Chief Minister.
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