A former golf course that was built in the burial ground of an ancient Indian deity was demolished by Indian authorities, and now the land is being auctioned for scrap metal, the New York Post reported.
Indian authorities, in a move that is believed to be related to the development of the site, ordered the demolition on March 14.
“This was done in an act of political vengeance against us, the community, as we are not related to this site,” Rakesh Prakash, the leader of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the village of Bhadra, said to the Post.
“They have been trying to take over our land for some time now.”
Prakash claimed the site was the ancestral burial ground for the deity Durga, and the temple that used to stand nearby has been demolished.
The site has also been a graveyard for several centuries.
The site, where the Buddha had been buried, is believed by many to have been an important religious site, with some reports suggesting the Buddha may have been buried in it.
The site is owned by the Prakas, who are members of the Hindu Jagriti Samiti, the umbrella organization of the Brahmin community.
Bharatiya has also reportedly taken over the site and plans to use it as a mosque.
Pravin Chhetri, an Indian writer and researcher, has written about the land’s history, claiming the site is one of the earliest Buddhist burial sites.
He believes the site dates back to the 2nd century BC and is now a part of the Indian subcontinent.