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Sadhvi tour of US criticised

world Updated: Sep 08, 2010 23:39 IST
Anirudh Bhattacharyya

Even as a crucial verdict from the Allahabad High Court on the title of the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid land is expected this month, Sadhvi Ritambhara, considered one of the principal instigators of the Babri Masjid demolition, finds herself in the midst of a controversy in the US.

She has been touring the US but her engagements have not escaped criticism. The latest squabble has been over her recent engagement to speak at a temple in New Jersey. That programme was met with protests by groups like the Indian Muslim Congress-USA, which asked the organisers to prevent her from speaking there. That appeared to have had an effect, as the IMC-USA issued a statement applauding the Hindu Samaj Mandir in Mahwah. IMC-USA president Rasheed Ahmed said, in a statement, "I am truly heartened to hear the Hindu Samaj Mandir's decision for not allowing Sadhvi Ritambhara to speak at their facility."

But the reality appears to be different. The fiery sanyasin spoke for nearly an hour-and-a-half at the temple premises on Monday. The organisers said that her programme had been changed not due to pressure but due to logistical reasons.