Dalits protest demolition of Ravidas temple, choke roads - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Sunday, August 11, 2019

Dalits protest demolition of Ravidas temple, choke roads


Dalits protest demolition of Ravidas temple, choke roads

Tribune News Service

Jalandhar/Phagwara, Aug 10

Thousands of commuters across the region remained a harried lot on Saturday as members of the Dalit community held protests and blocked highways over the demolition of Guru Ravidas temple in Tughlaqabad area in Delhi this morning, hours after the Supreme Court orders.

The sit-in protests were held at 14 places across the state. The dharnas started around 11.15 am and continued for four hours during which the commuters remained stranded waiting for the agitators to lift the blockade.

The traffic police personnel directed the motorists towards longer diversions through villages which led to a lot of inconvenience. Over a kilometre long jams could be seen at many highways where Dalit protestors kept chanting “Jai Bhim” slogans.

In Doaba region, protesters blocked traffic at Nawanshahr, Rama Mandi near the Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur-Phagwara tri-junction, Pathankot bypass, Chaheru Bridge near Phagwara that affected Ludhiana-Jalandhar commuters and at Wadala Chowk, which affected traffic from Jalandhar to Nakodar. Congress legislator Sushil Rinku also joined the protests at Wadala Chowk. At most other places, BSP workers led by president Jasvir Singh Garhi and Balwinder Kumar remained present.

In Phagwara, SP Mandeep Singh, SP (Investigations) Manpreet Dhillon and DSP Manjeet Singh along with SDM Jai Inder Singh tried to persuade the protesters to relent. The protesters submitted a memorandum to the SDM before lifting the blockade after five hours.

Gaddi nasheen of Guru Ravidas Temple at Khuralgarh Satwinder Singh Heera was detained by the Delhi police today as he was present at the site. “As soon as we heard the orders late last evening, we left for Delhi and reached the temple premises by 6 am. The temple was guarded by about 400 police personnel and we could make out that demolition could happen any moment. I along with 22 persons took out a religious procession and held shabad kirtan. We requested the cops to spare a 6X8 area of temple premises. But they took us away in a bus and demolished the temple. We will now hold a protest at Jantar Mantar on August 21.”

Meanwhile, Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary appealed to the followers of Guru Ravidas to maintain peace. He alleged that the police removed the idol of Guru Ravidas and Guru Granth Sahib from the shrine, which was an act of sacrilege.

The MP said the move had led to uproar in Punjab with people coming on the streets and expressing anger. He said he would meet Union Minister of Urban Development and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to seek an appropriate resolution of the matter to ensure that the temple was restored.

It’s an act of sacrilege, says Cong MP

Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary alleged that the Delhi police removed the idol of Guru Ravidas and Guru Granth Sahib from the shrine and arrested devotees present there, which was an act of sacrilege. He said he would meet Union Minister of Urban Development and Lieutenant Governor of Delhi and  ensure that the temple was restored.

Anti-dalit face of bjp exposed: AAP

The Aam Aadmi Party criticised the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Modi-led BJP government at the Centre for the shrine demolition. In a statement, AAP legislators, led by LoP Harpal Singh Cheema, said the move had hurt the religious sentiments of a large number of followers. They alleged that the act had brought the anti-Dalit face of the government to the fore.

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