A group of people, allegedly belonging to Sambhaji Brigade on Wednesday removed the bronze statue of the dog from the memorial of Shivaji Maharaj at Raigad fort.
They reportedly threw the statue into the valley below. The police arrested 73 people.
Legend has it that Shivaji Maharaj had a loyal dog named Waghya, who jumped on to his master’s funeral pyre and killed himself.
Inspector general of police (Konkan Range) Sukhwinder Singh said the incident occurred around 12.30pm on Wednesday.
“Some people believed to be from Sambhaji Brigade vandalised Waghya’s statue threw it into the valley. We arrested 73 people from the brigade from the nearby areas,” said Singh.
Members of Sambhaji Brigade believe that Waghya has no reference in history.
“There is an ideological issue to it and there are differences of opinion over Waghya’s reference in the history. While a faction of people says it (Waghya) has no reference in the history, some say there is,” Singh said.
When asked to comment on the issue, Purushottam Khedekar of Sambhaji Brigade replied through a text message: “I am away and out of normal range. May call you later. Sorry.”
A statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji was erected in front of the ruins of Raigad fort. The Sambhaji Brigade had objected to the dog’s statue and wanted it removed.