Ready to give land at same site for reconstruction of Ravidas temple, Centre tells SC

NEW DELHI : The Centre Friday told the Supreme Court that it is willing to hand over 200 square metre area at the same site where the Guru Ravidas temple was demolished in August on the court’s orders, news agency reported PTI.

Attorney General KK Venugopal, appearing for the Centre, said he had held consultation with all parties including devotees and government officials.

“That same 200 square metre area of the site can be handed over to a committee of devotees for construction of the temple,” Venugopal said, adding that five out of seven petitioners, who approached the court against the demolition of the temple have agreed to the proposal.

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

On October 4, the top court had asked the parties involved in a plea seeking permission to rebuild the Guru Ravidas temple in Delhi’s Tughlaqabad forest area to come back to it with an amicable solution on a better location for the temple.

The temple was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) following the court’s direction, which had triggered massive outcry and protests in the national capital.

Following the demolition of the 500-year-old temple, protests was staged at several places in Punjab and Delhi by political parties and members of the Dalit community. Key organizations advocating for Dalit rights had supported the call for a nationwide bandh.

The top court had said it respects everybody’s sentiments but the law has to be followed.