Guru Ravidas temple razed in Delhi; Dalits continue to protest in Punjab

New Delhi: Protests continued at many places in Punjab on Monday (August 12) by Dalits over the demolition of a temple dedicated to Guru Ravidas in New Delhi's Tughlakabad on the directions of the Supreme Court. Protest marches were taken out by Dalits in Nawanshahr where shops remained shut. Commenting on the demolition of the temple believed to be on the site visited by Guru Ravidas around 1509 during the reign of Sikander Lodhi, the Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar extended his party's support to the Ravidas community. Union minister of state for commerce and industry and Hoshiarpur MP Som Parkash too described the demolition of the temple unfortunate. He said he would meet the Lt Governor of Delhi and, if required, prime minister, for resolving the matter and getting the land re-allotted for the temple.

The AAP minister in a press conference in New Delhi said the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), in the presence of a police force, demolished the structure on Saturday morning. The DDA said the apex court in a case titled 'Guru Ravi Das Jayanti Samaroh Samiti vs Union of India', had on August 9 observed that "serious breach" has been committed by the Guru Ravi Das Jayanti Samaroh Samiti by not vacating the forest area as earlier ordered by the court.

Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh had on Sunday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention to pacify the situation as Dalits had called for a nationwide shutdown on August 13 besides observing Independence Day as 'black day'.

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