The Maharashtra government has announced that it will install a statue depicting Maratha ruler Shivaji slaying Afzal Khan, a general of the Adil Shahi dynasty, in the Satara district, The Indian Express reported on Thursday. Khan was killed by Maratha ruler Shivaji near the Pratapgarh Fort in 1659.

The statue will be installed near Khan’s tomb at the Pratapgarh fort, and will be named as the Shiv Pratap Smarak.

The announcement came about a week after the Satara district administration demolished several “unauthorised structures” around the tomb.

On November 15, state Tourism Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha had told the newspaper that the government will ensure that the statue does not encroach on forest land and that all requisite permissions are secured for it.

The minister wrote to the secretary of the tourism department, directing him to get a proposal in this regard from the Satara collector. The minister noted that 2022 marks the the 350th anniversary of Shivaji’s coronation.

“The conquests of Maharashtra’s revered king Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj are known worldwide,” Lodha wrote in the letter. “Shivaji Maharaj slayed Afzal Khan, who had attacked Hindavi self-rule, with claw-like weapons and taught him a lesson...This event has historical importance, and continues to inspire crores of people.”

The minister said that in addition to the statue, there were also be light and sound show at the spot.

On November 10, Satara Collector Ruchesh Jaiwanshi had said that authorities removed illegal structures such as permanent rooms built around the Afzal Khan tomb premises. The action was taken on the basis of orders by the High Court and directives by the state government, he had said.

Jaiwanshi had added that the structures were spread over 15 to 20 gunthas of land (one guntha is equal to 1,089 square feet). He had claimed some portion of the land belongs to the forest and revenue departments.