Donated 18 years ago, shila for Ram temple lying in Ayodhya treasuryUpdated: Aug 06, 2020 23:04 IST
A shila (stone) donated for construction of the Ram temple during the shiladan ceremony held in the temple town on March 15, 2002 remains apparently forgotten under ‘double lock’ of the district treasury of Ayodhya.
“Yes, this shila was donated in two parts for construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. This is one of the shilas carved at the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s karyashala (workshop) set up in Ayodhya. Now, when other shilas are going to be shifted from the karyashala to the construction site, this shila, kept under ‘double lock’ of the district treasury, should also be taken out and given for construction of the temple,” said Anil Kumar Gupta, who then served as the divisional commissioner of Faizabad (now Ayodhya) and receiver for the Ram Janmabhoomi site, where the Ram temple will now come up in Ayodhya.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the first brick of the Ram temple at the bhoomi pujan ceremony held in Ayodhya on Wednesday.
The then chairman of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas (Ram temple trust), the late Mahant Ramchandra Das Paramhans, had donated the shila to the then Prime Minister the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s emissary Shatrughan Singh at Bada Sthan (Ayodhya) on March 15, 2002. After taking the donation, Singh had handed over the same to the district administration, asking the officers to place it with respect under double lock of the district treasury.
“Yes, the late Ram Chandra Das Paramhans had donated the shila in two parts. As the shila was to be donated to an emissary, the Centre decided to depute Shatrughan Singh from the union home ministry’s Ayodhya cell to receive the donation. Singh was flown in by a special plane to Ayodhya to receive the shila,” recollected Gupta.
“Although the then VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) president Ashok Singhal was present on the occasion, the late Mahant Ramchandra Das Paramhans was the main donor of the shila,” he added.
“Now when donations are pouring in for the Ram temple, the state government should transfer the donated shila from the treasury to the (temple) trust for construction of the Ram temple,” said VHP’s Ayodhya-based regional spokesman Sharad Sharma.
VHP had announced a symbolic puja for the Ram temple on March 15, 2002 and later agreed to hold a ‘shiladan’ outside the then disputed Ram Janmabhoomi complex. Later, Ramchandra Das Paramhans’s successor Suresh Das also demanded that the district administration should transfer the shila to the trust for construction of the temple.
Ayodhya district magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha said there were many valuable items, including gold and silver and the shila, kept in the district treasury in Ayodhya. The district administration handed over a list of all these valuable items to the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust on February 5, 2020.
“We have many valuable items, including gold and silver and the shila in the treasury and transferred them on paper to the temple construction trust. It is for the temple trust to take out these items as per convenience. We have no problem. Let them decide the time. We will give all these items to them,” said Jha.