NEW DELHI: With an aim to ensure peace and harmony, the Centre on Friday told the Supreme Court that it is ready to rebuild the Saint Ravidas temple in Delhi at the same site where the shrine was demolished in August on the court’s orders.
Attorney General K K Venugopal submitted that the decision was taken to ensure peace and harmony, after the demolition had sparked widespread protests by devotees.“That same 200 sq m area of the site can be handed over to a committee of devotees for construction of temple,” Venugopal said, adding that he held consultation with all parties and the Centre agreed to give the land considering sensitivity and faith of devotees.
A bench of Justices Arun Mishra and S Ravindra Bhat took on record the offer made by Venugopal, and asked parties seeking construction of a temple to submit objections, if any by Monday. The apex court said it will pass orders on October 23. The temple was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on August 10 following the court’s direction as it was built on encroached forest land.
Following the demolition of the 500-year-old temple, protests by political parties and the Dalits took place at several places in Punjab and Delhi. Pro-Dalit outfits had supported the call for a nationwide bandh. The SC had warned against politicising the issue and had said it would initiate contempt proceedings against those provoking dharnas.