Temple on railway platform row: Right-wing activists toughen their stand
Right-wing activists have toughened their stand as the ten-day notice period for shifting a temple on the railway station platform in Agra is set to expire on Saturday. While the railways have stressed that the shifting of the temple is necessary for the safety of the passengers, the right-wing activists have threatened to protest and take to the streets.
Before the dust on the temple issue could settle, railway authorities have served another notice to those managing the ‘mazar’ of ‘Bhure Shah Baba’ at Agra Cantt railway station.
Considering it as an encroachment, a notice was served seeking an explanation over the issue by May 13, 2022.
Meanwhile, former state general secretary of Hindu Jagran Manch (Braj prant) Dr Surendra Singh Baghaur held a press meet on Thursday.
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He warned railway authorities to desist from any such act which might hurt Hindu sentiments and called for a mass movement to defend the existing Chamunda Devi Temple at the platform of Raja Ki Mandi railway station.
Going a step forward, the national president of self-declared outfit Rashtriya Hindu Parishad Govind Parashar threatened to commit suicide by jumping before the moving train if any attempt to remove even a brick of Chamunda Temple was done by the railways.
‘Not only me, but thousands of other devotees of the deity will give up their lives against any move by railway authorities to harm the temple, which existed before the railway station and is more than 250-year-old. How can one build a temple on a railway station? In fact, the temple existed before the station was built,” said Parashar, known for being very vocal on religious matters.
Meanwhile, railway authorities maintained their stand and Prashasti Srivastava, the divisional commercial manager and public relations officer for the Agra division of the North Central Railways stated, “Encroachments are being removed in compliance with the orders passed by the Supreme Court and thus notice was served on April 20, 2022, to the head priest of the temple located on the platform of Raja Ki Mandi railway station. Ten days were granted through the notice to shift the temple.”
“There are safety issues, too. Because of the temple, there is a curve and the gap between the footrest of the train and the platform increase which is not safe for the passengers. Besides, this sharp curve at Raja Ki Mandi station also hampers the speed of the trains. The speed of the train needs to be enhanced to 120 km/per hour but instead has to be reduced to 70km/per hour to negotiate the curve safely,” Srivastava said.
She confirmed that as part of the railways’ efforts to remove illegal encroachments from its land, the North Central Railways had issued notice also to a ‘mazar’ of ‘Bhure Shah Baba’ at Agra Cantt railway station.
“We have issued notice to caretakers of ‘mazar’ brought upon the land of railways at Agra Cantt railway station and have asked them to present their defence based on documentary evidence before May 13, 2022,” Srivastava stated.
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