Mathura: The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has done what could not have been imagined a couple of years ago: the state government on November 12 flattened seven Islamic ‘mazars’ (mausoleums or shrines) that had come up as encroachments around the holy Girirajji or Govardhan Parvat in Mathura.

The hillock is considered holy by Hindus and has a special place in Hindu mythology. It is said that Lord Krishna had lifted the hill on just one finger to save the people of Braj from the wrath of Indra, the rain God, who had come to wreak havoc by incessant rains. Hindus from across the country come for doing ‘parikrama’ or circumambulation of the hill.

Over complaints of encroachment and traffic mismanagement around the hill, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had passed an order back in 2015, ordering the state government to remove all encroachments in the area. The order had come after an inspection had been conducted on March 20, 2015.

The recommendations of the report, endorsed by the NGT, included designating the entire parikrama marg as a ‘no-construction zone’. “A drive may be carried out for the identification of forest land in accordance with demarcation map and all encroachments may be removed in a time-bound manner,” the report had said.

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It had further added that illegal construction that “blocked/obstructed the view to have darshan by the devotees” be demolished.

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Advocate Amit Tiwari, associated with the case in NGT, told MyNation that while initially, the list of encroachments did not include the seven mazars that had come up over time illegally around the hillock and near the parikrama marg, they were found in an inspection carried out recently.