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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Jul 2014

Forest dept take control of temple amid protests

HT Correspondent  Pathankot, March 23, 2013
First Published: 20:57 IST(23/3/2013) | Last Updated: 20:58 IST(23/3/2013)

Tension prevailed at a hilltop temple falling in the Himachal territory near Damtal on Saturday when a team led by divisional forest officer Sanjay Sen, along with a heavy police force, reached there to take possession of the temple, which will be demolished as per high court directions to pave way for the widening of the Pathankot Jalandhar national highway.

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As the news of officials locking the temple spread, a large number of devotees from Pathankot and Damtal also reached the temple and expressed their resentment against the decision.

The officials assured the devotees that an alternative site would be marked for the temple.
Sen said they would now send the possession-taken report to the government, and till the government decides the next step, the forest department would take care of the temple. "In all likelihood, the temple will be demolished by March 31," he said.

Sanjay Kumar, a trader from Damtal, said the traders of the area had built this temple to ward off accidents on this stretch. "The government should respect our religious sentiments and mark an alternative site for the shrine," he said.

A large number of tourists, drivers and passengers also stop at this temple to pay obeisance.

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