Seers call off Ayodhya 'march' post Pulwama attack

Seers call off Ayodhya 'march' post Pulwama attack

PTI File photo of devotees marching for their demand to have a Ram Temple built in Ayodhya

In a reprieve to the Uttar Pradesh government, seers and saints have called off their proposed march to Ayodhya on Sunday for the construction of Ram Temple keeping in view the prevailing ''public sentiment'' in the wake of terror attack at Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir in which 44 CRPF jawans were martyred.

An aide of Swami Swaroopananda Sarswati, the shankaracharya of Dwarika Peeth, who was to lead the ''march'', said on Sunday that a new date for the same would be announced in the next few days.

''The nation is in mourning...we have lost many brave jawans in the terror attack...we have therefore decided to postpone our march to Ayodhya,'' he said.

Although the aide cited ''public sentiment'' as the reason for the postponement, sources said that Shankaracharya was under ''tremendous pressure'' from the state government as well as from the saints affiliated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) to call off his program.

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had urged the Shankaracharya to call off his ''march''.

Sources said the Shankaracharya had not been keeping well and was currently under treatment at a hospital in Varanasi. 

The Shankaracharya has asked those, who had left their homes to take part in the ''march'' to pay obeisance at the makeshift Ram Temple at Ayodhya and return.

The seers had planned to reach Ayodhya on February 19 and lay the foundation of the Temple on February 21.

The decision to ''march'' to Ayodhya by the seers had put the state government in a fix. 

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which had convened a 'dharm sansad' at Kumbh, decided to defer the Ram Temple agitation till the next Lok Sabha polls.