Ram Tirath issue: Govt resolves dispute amicably

  • Aseem Bassi, Hindustan Times, Ram Tirath (Amritsar)
  • Updated: Sep 11, 2014 12:02 IST

The dispute over the possession of various historical sites at the ancient Ram Tirath temple was amicably resolved on Wednesday following the intervention of the Punjab government.

Fearing that the implementation of the Punjab and Haryana high court’s recent directions in totality could lead to a lawand-order problem, the government thought it best to bring a compromise between petitioner Mahant Baldev Giri and the Bhagwan Valmiki Dhuna Sahib Management Trust.

According to this, Giri was on Wednesday given possession of the historical ‘Paathshaala’, where Maharishi Valmiki is said to have taught the sons of Lord Rama.

However, the possession of the historical Dhuna Sahib (prayer room) remained with the Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Vikas Board formed by the Punjab government. Other than this, the langar area and some adjoining land also remained with them.

Confirming this, Amritsar deputy commissioner Ravi Bhagat said, “A compromise has been reached between Mahant Baldev Giri, Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Vikas Board and Dhuna Sahib Management Trust.

All parties have honoured the compromise. According to it, the historical ‘Paathshala’ has been handed over to Mahant Baldev Giri whereas Dhuna Sahib will be with Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Vikas Board.”

The deputy commissioner said the BSF had been deployed in the area to check any law-andorder problem. Also, the police had taken adequate measures to deal with any eventuality. Three BSF companies had already been deployed, he added.

Talking to mediapersons, Mahant Baldev Giri said, “We are satisfied and were always of the view that everything must be done peacefully.” Giri claimed that he would withdraw the petition filed in the court.

Meanwhile, Randeep Gill, member of the Bhagwan Valmiki Tirath Vikas Board, said, “The decision has been taken amicably and with the consent of representatives of various Valmiki organisations. The Paathshala has been given to Baldev Giri whereas the historical Dhuna Sahib is with the Board like earlier. The langar area is also with us and the government has promised to develop them.”

The high court had given its order on a petition filed by Mahant Baldev Giri against the state government’s inability to carry out the orders of the lower court (at Ajnala), which had ruled in his favour in 2001 in a possession case filed way back in 1993. The Ajnala court had in 2004 directed the state government to ensure that Baldev Giri gets possession of the disputed sites.

Since then, on numerous occasions, the police had tried to get the sites evicted from the Bhagwan Valmiki Trust members but had failed.

The police after direction from the high court had also made an attempt on Monday, but fearing a law-and-order issue had withdrawn itself.

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