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SC asks Centre to rebuild Ravidas temple at the same spot

In order to mollify the Dalit comunity against April 8 demolition of Ravidas temple, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to rebuild the temple Tughlaqabad area. The government offered to revise its offer from 200 sq m for the temple to 400 sq m.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 22, 2019, 06.54 AM IST
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to rebuild the saint Ravidas temple in Delhi’s Tughlaqabad area at the same spot where it once stood. The temple, which was demolished on the orders of the apex court, will be built on an area that would be double the size of its earlier complex.

An SC bench, comprising Justices Arun Mishra and Ravindra Bhatt, asked the Centre to provide the necessary land at the spot. A central government committee is likely to start temple reconstruction within six weeks.

The Guru Ravidas Samaroh Samiti, incharge of the temple affairs since 1959, would not, however, be part of the central committee. Attorney General KK Venugopal vehemently opposed the inclusion of the Samiti in the committee.

Dalit organisations throughout Delhi and elsewhere had protested the demolition following an April 8 SC order. The apex court had upheld a Delhi high court direction in ordering the demolition.

The court battle began after DDA, which owns the land, challenged the temple management’s possession in court. The Delhi high court ruled against the management. After the temple management refused to vacate, the SC ordered its demolition.

As the agitating Dalits went on the warpath, the Centre to which the DDA reports offered to give back the land to mollify the community. After the court’s prodding, the government on Monday offered to revise its offer from 200 sq m for the temple to 400 sq m.

The Supreme Court also directed that all those who had been arrested in connection with the agitation should be released on personal bonds. “Let there be peace,” Justice Mishra observed.

The SC, however, said that no commercial activity would be permitted in and around the temple. This includes a paid parking lot.

Saint Ravidas was a poet-saint of the Bhakti movement. He is believed to have visited the spot.

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