Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, demanding to restore a year-old temple of Sant Ravidas Ji at Tughlagabad that was "demolished" by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) recently.
Addressing mediapersons, Delhi's Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said that DDA demolished the temple and even took away the idol. "Sant Ravidas had come here at the time of Sikandar Lodhi and built an ashram. There is also a pond here as per the government's documents but still it was dismantled by the civic agency," he said.
"We have written a letter to Prime Minister Modi that crores of people have faith in Sant Ravidas Ji in the country and the temple be restored here again, considering the sentiment of the people," Gautam said.
AAP chief spokesperson and MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj said that the matter was taken to court repeatedly. The DDA has fought a lawsuit against this temple. The civic body had an option to allot the land to the temple management but nothing was done.
Bhardwaj further said that think DDA is distributing land to people all over the world, but it found it difficult to allot even 100 yards of land for temple of Sant Ravidas ji. He always questioned the 'silence' of the Bharatiya Janta Party's (BJP) leaders on this matter.
However, DDA in a statement said that Supreme Court in its order dated April 9 this year in the case titled Guru Ravi Das Jayanti Samaroh Samiti vs Union of India, observed that serious breach has been committed by Guru Ravi Das Jayanti Samaroh Samiti by not vacating the forest area as earlier ordered by the apex court.
"Therefore, the Supreme Court ordered that the premises be vacated and the structure be removed by DDA with the help of police. In case of non compliance, Rishipal, president Guru Ravi Das Jayanti Samaroh Samiti has to present himself in the court. Further, it directed the Delhi Police and Chief Secretary of the Delhi Government to ensure that the structure be removed," it said.
The statement further read that in compliance with the order, the police personnel, SDM of Delhi Government., senior officials of DDA and Guru Ravi Das Jayanti Samaroh Samiti members to be present on site in Jahanpanah forests at 9 AM on 10 August 2019. The standing permanent structure was dismantled peacefully without any resistance or use of force and in the presence of Samiti members, it added. It is also clarified that the suit was filed by Guru Ravi Das Jayanti Samaroh Samiti and not by the DDA, the statement said.