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Saturday, Oct 19, 2019

Ayodhya Ram Mandir: Hand over temple land, VHP to Muslims

Ayodhya Ram Mandir: Though the VHP though did not reiterate its demand for a law for the temple’s construction, its vice-president Champat Rai set the tone and tenor for the convention saying that the division of land was out of question and no mosque would be allowed in Ayodhya.

india Updated: Nov 25, 2018 23:46 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi & Pawan Dixit
Umesh Raghuvanshi & Pawan Dixit
Hindustan Times, Ayodhya
The VHP’s Dharam Sabha in Ayodhya on Sunday demanded Muslims hand over the disputed land for the Ram temple (HT)
The VHP’s Dharam Sabha in Ayodhya on Sunday demanded Muslims hand over the disputed land for the Ram temple (HT)(HT Photo)

Vishva Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) two-day show of strength in Ayodhya ended on Sunday with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) affiliate asking Muslims to hand over the land for the construction of a Ram temple in place of the demolished Babri mosque there.

“If an ordinance is brought for the temple construction, it will not end with Ayodhya. The process of the ordinance will begin for Kashi Vishwanath (Varanasi), Mathura and other temples,” said Swami Parmanand, who presided over the VHP’s two-day Dharam Sabha (religious assembly) to press for the temple construction. He was referring to other mosques allegedly constructed in place of temples in the medieval times.

“Our temples were broken by (Muslim) rulers. The common Muslim is not responsible... So, a common Muslim should not associate himself with those oppressors,” said Parmanand.

He asked Muslims to surrender the land for the temple to strengthen brotherhood. “If our request is not heard, we will continue our fight for the Ram temple,” Parmanand said. He added they have complete faith in VHP that has taken the Ram temple movement to this stage.

VHP vice-president Champat Rai ruled out the division of land and said no mosque would be allowed in Ayodhya. “No mosque, with the name of Babri Masjid, will be allowed anywhere in India.” He called the Ayodhya issue non-negotiable for Hindus.

“The distribution of land is not acceptable to us and we want the whole land for Lord Ram... Hindus would not accept the offering of namaaz over any piece of the disputed land.”

Jagadguru Swami Rambhadracharya hinted the Centre was contemplating an ordinance to pave way for the temple. “I spoke to a senior Union minister on November 23. He informed me that the Centre could not take a decision on the issue in view of the Election Commission’s code of conduct for ongoing assembly elections in five states,’’ he said.

“I feel an ordinance will be brought as they (the BJP government) will not betray us. The minister has asked me to inform the people about this in the Dharam Sabha,” said Rambhadracharya, who left the venue after the next speaker raised doubts about his conversation with the minister. “I am speaking the truth,” Rambhadracharya insisted.

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the chief of Ram Janmbhoomi Nyas formed to promote and oversee the temple construction, said the BJP has majority in Parliament as well as in the Uttar Pradesh assembly. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Yogi Adityanath should work to pave the way for the temple construction.”

Nand Kishore, 82, an Ambedkar Nagar-resident who attended the Dharam Sabha, said there has been much delay in the temple construction. “The Hindus cannot wait any longer. We want an exact date for construction work to start.”

An uneasy calm prevailed in Ayodhya’s Muslim-dominated areas despite a heavy security deployment. Many Muslims had left the temple town in view of the sabha. Earlier, authorities tightened security after tens of thousands of slogan-shouting VHP volunteers turned up in Ayodhya demanding that the temple be constructed at the earliest. The volunteers held saffron flags and arrived on motorcycles, buses and in cars.

Authorities restricted people’s movements and beefed up the security of Iqbal Ansari, a party to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit in the Supreme Court, as a precautionary measure.

First Published: Nov 25, 2018 20:31 IST

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