Religious leader Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati said on Wednesday that a ceremony to mark the start of construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya will take place on February 21, even if those gathering there have to “face bullets“
Ram Temple Construction: The ‘dharamadesh‘ (edict) issued by the Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya after the ‘Dharam Sansad‘ urged Hindus to reach Ayodhya carrying four bricks each.
The announcement comes a day after the Centre filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking permission to transfer “surplus” land adjacent to the disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid site to its original owners.
The ‘dharamadesh‘ (edict) issued by the Dwarka Peeth Shankaracharya after the ‘Dharam Sansad‘ urged Hindus to reach Ayodhya carrying four bricks each.
The planned ceremony is being called ‘Ishtika Nyas‘, or the laying of bricks.
The Shankaracharya said the sadhus will begin their march to Ayodhya from Prayagraj after Basant Panchami, which falls on February 10.
According to news agency Press Trust of India, he said they were “ready to face bullets.”
The Shankaracharya criticised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government for not bringing legislation to enable the construction of the temple, even though it had an absolute majority in the Lok Sabha.
It said the government demonstrated this majority when a bill to provide reservation in government jobs and educational institutes for the economically weaker sections was passed in Parliament.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has also planned a two-day ‘Dharam Sansad‘ in Prayagraj, starting Thursday.
Facing growing pressure to move swiftly on the Ram temple issue, the Modi government on Tuesday asked the Supreme Court to allow it to return the “non-disputed” surplus land acquired around the disputed structure in Ayodhya to a Hindu trust and other original owners, in a significant move ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
The move could see some form of construction of a Ram temple by Hindu groups if the handover is allowed, amid pressure from the RSS and Hindutva groups on the Centre to facilitate this step.
In its 33-page application, the Centre sought modification of the apex court’s 2003 order to permit it to return 67.390 acres of “non-disputed” surplus/superflous land around the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid structure in Ayodhya to the original owners. The court had held that unless the dispute is resolved, status quo has to be maintained over surplus land.
The application claimed that only 0.313 acre of land was disputed.
The 0.313-acre land, on which the disputed structure stood before it was demolished by ‘kar sevaks‘ on December 6, 1992, was within a compound measuring 2.77 acres.
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