CHANDIGARH: Dalit outfits in Punjab have called for a state-wide bandh on August 13 to protest against the recent demolition of Guru Ravidas temple in Tughlakabad in Delhi. The state has the highest number of Dalits in the country and eyeing to increase its vote share, the Punjab Congress on Monday extended its support to the Ravidas community on this issue.
Punjab Congress President Sunil Jakhar said the party stood by the community and would help in every possible way to pursue the case for re-allocation of the historic site and reconstruction of the temple demolished in Delhi under the Supreme Court’s orders.
However, in the interest of the people, he urged the Guru Ravidas Jayanti Samaroh Samiti, which is spearheading the protests, not to block roads and highways as that would cause hardship to the commuters.
Jakhar said the Congress was committed to ensuring that the matter is amicably resolved in favour of the Ravidas community, which had revered the Guru Ravidas Temple and Samadhi, located in Village Tughlakabad, Delhi, for 500 years. The PPCC would stand with the community in its fight for restoration of the site and for rebuilding of the temple and other connected structures, said Jakhar.
Legends say that Guru Ravidas visited the sacred place around 1509 during the reign of Emperor Sikander. Jakhar said it was obvious that the community had historic religious ties with the place and he was confident that the central government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, would accede the state’s request for intervention to settle the matter amicably.
Jakhar’s statement came a day after Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh sought the Prime Minister’s intervention to resolve the matter, and extended all legal and financial aid to the community to pursue the case. Amarinder had on Sunday also spoken to Union Urban Develop Minister Hardeep Singh Puri to help in the peaceful settlement of the issue, that had hurt the sentiments of the Ravidas community.