Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday wrote a letter to Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri to initiate the process of restoration of Sant Ravidas Temple in South east Delhi's Tughlaqabad Villagxe.
"The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) demolished the Sant Ravidas Temple in Tughlaqabad Village of Delhi on August 10, 2019.This has caused tremendous hurt to the sentiments of crores of people. Sant Ravidas Ji was a revered saint, not just for the Dalit community, but for all communities. His teachings have been empowering and uplifting for generations of people over five centuries," Kejriwal wrote in his letter.
The letter further stated that although the temple and all other property had been demolished, it was still possible to restore the temple. "I have been given to understand that there is still an opportunity to correct this injustice, and restore the Sant Ravidas Ji temple.The DDA can exercise its discretion to act in accordance with the public sentiment," Kejriwal stated in letter.
"This is forest land under ownership and control of the DDA. As the agency that has possession and title over it, it will have to initiate the process. DDA will need to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change through the Government of NCT of Delhi, for notifying the diversion of the land," Kejriwal wrote.
Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam has already written to the DDA vice-chairman, and in his letter he stated that is for the DDA to initiate the proposal for denotificationof the land on which the Sant Ravidas Temple existed.
"I had a telephonic conversation with DDA vice-chairman, but so far he has not received any response to his letter," Gautam said. Several people on Tuesday had also marched to offer prayers at the Ravidas temple site in the Tughlaqabad area, a month after it was demolished on Supreme Court orders, but they were stopped by police just short of the location. The people after being stopped by the police performed rituals on road at the Guru Ravidas Marg.
Earlier, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had demolished the structure on August 10 following court orders. In a statement issued last month, the body said the "structure was removed as per the orders of the Supreme Court.
"The standing semi-permanent structure was dismantled peacefully without any resistance or use of force in the presence of Guru Ravi Das Jayanti Samaroh Samiti members," the DDA had said.