Ahead of the bhoomi pujan, a top priest of the Ram temple in Ayodhya and four policemen have tested positive for coronavirus, sending a scare among the people, but Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust said the bhoomi pujan programme would go ahead as planned on August 5.
Acharya Pradeep Das, assistant to the chief priest of Ram Janmabhoomi temple, Acharya Satyendra Das said that he had tested positive for coronavirus. Acharya Satyendra Das too confirmed this to the journalists on Thursday.
Besides the priest, four policemen on duty at Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, where the bhoomi pujan ceremony for the Ram temple is scheduled to be held on August 5, have also tested positive for coronavirus.
The policemen who tested positive were deployed for the security of Ram Janmabhoomi complex, the RJB Teerth Kshetra said.
Chief Medical Officer at Ayodhya, Dr Ghanshyam Singh, said: “All the four cops who tested positive have been isolated. We have tested everyone in and around temple duty.”
All these people tested positive in a random testing carried out of the people who were expected to attend the August 5 programme.
The question now being asked is whether those in contact with Acharya Pradeep Das would be asked to go on home quarantine.
Last Saturday, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the Ram Janmabhoomi complex to review preparations for the August 5 event. Photos and videos of the day show the coronavirus-positive priest Pradeep Das standing next to the chief minister during a ritual. Ram Janmabhoomi chief priest Acharya Satyendra Das, who will lead the August 5 ceremony, is also seen standing next to the men.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the ceremony along with about 200 guests.
Meanwhile, sources in the RJB Teerth Kshetra trust said that the programme would go ahead as planned, maintaining all safety protocols for COVID-19.
At present, Ayodhya has 375 active coronavirus cases.
Meanwhile, the BJP governments at the Centre and in UP are working overtime to make this occasion memorable. The prime minister who will lay the foundation stone of the Ram temple, is also all set to release postal stamps on the occasion.
According to the sources, one of the stamps is likely to be on the model of the Ram temple and another on scenes depicting the significance of Lord Ram in other countries.
On the other hand, Ayodhya Research Institute will print big posters and cut-outs of symbols of Ram Lila from different countries to depict the cultural presence of Lord Ram across the world and would be put them up on the entire route to the Ram temple.
Preparations are also on to ensure non-stop recitation of Ram Charit Manas at 25 locations on the 4.5-km-route to be taken by the prime minister from Saket Degree College in Ayodhya where his chopper will land. The walls and pillars of the city have already been painted with pictures of Lord Ram and scenes from the Ramayana and decorated with rangoli.