'Centre's offer in Ravidas temple case objectionable'

Last Updated 18 October 2019, 15:18 IST

Delhi Congress working president Rajesh Lilothia on Friday rejected the Centre's offer to provide 200 square metre land for a Ravidas temple in south Delhi after the authorities demolished an existing structure.

Lilothia, a petitioner in the case in the Supreme Court, said, "The government's proposal says that a temporary structure will house the idol of Guru Ravidasji and the dimension of the temporary structure will be 20 feet by 20 feet. This is highly objectionable and disturbing. It is going to hurt the sentiments of millions of followers and worshippers of Guru Ravidas."

The temple, demolished by the Delhi Development Authority in August, was on a plot of 12 bighas and attracted a large number of devotees, so the government should provide bigger plot, the leader said.

The Centre had on Friday told the Supreme Court that it was willing to hand over 200 square metre area to a committee of devotees for the construction of a Guru Ravidas temple in south Delhi.

Attorney General K K Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said he had held consultation with all parties, including devotees and government officials, and the Centre had agreed to give the same piece of land considering sensitivity and faith of devotees for the site.

"That same 200 square metre area of the site can be handed over to a committee of devotees for construction of temple," Venugopal said, adding that five out of seven petitioners, who approached the court against the demolition of the temple have agreed to the proposal.

The court has asked the parties concerned to submit their objections by Monday.

Lilothia said that the Guru Ravidas temple should be rebuilt at the same holy place where Sant Ravidas resided. He demanded that contempt action must be taken against the guilty officers of the DDA, who, without any clear order, demolished the temple and removed the idol of our Guru.

The makeshift temple located in a forested area in south Delhi's Tughlaqabad was demolished by DDA on the order of the Supreme Court. PTI VIT SMN

(Published 18 October 2019, 15:07 IST)

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