New Delhi [India]: The SC-ST wing of the Aam Aadmi Party have planned a “gherao” of the BJP office here on Sunday to protest the demolition of the Sant Ravidas Temple in Tughlakabad.
The SC-ST wing of the party said that the demolition of the temple by the BJP-run Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has deeply angered people.
“On August 12, we wrote a letter to Prime Minister Modi and demanded that the temple be re-established at the same spot. But there was no response to that letter. This reflects BJP’s anti-Dalit mentality,” Rajendra Pal Gautam, Delhi’s Social Welfare Minister and MLA from Seemapuri, said in a press conference at AAP headquarters.
The temple was demolished by the DDA on August 10.
“If BJP and Union Minister Hardeep Puri had wanted, they could have saved the temple. But they did not do so. Protests are taking place not only all over the country but also in Austria, England, Canada, USA. Sant Ravidas ji has close to 35 to 40 crore followers across the world. The destruction of the temple has hurt the faith of all these followers,” said the Minister.
He alleged that the BJP has been practising the politics of mandir masjid in the country.
“It seems a Dalit’s temple is not a temple. During the BJP’s tenure, the temples of Dalit gurus Maharishi Valmiki, Ravidas Ji are being demolished across the country. Idols of Buddha, Ambedkar are being broken. There is no place for the greats of the Dalit community under BJP. Sant Ravidas ji came here in 1509. The lake next to it was also for the community. In 1959 Babu Jagjivan Ram had provided a lease for the land,” Gautam said.
On the BJP’s role in the demolition, he said, “Everyone should be respected in the society. Everyone should have the right to equality. If the BJP did not want the demolition to happen, then how did the DDA carry it out on August 10? Puri, who has been made in-charge of the Delhi unit by the BJP, directly controls the DDA. The demolition has taken place despite him having complete knowledge of it, and he’s silent about it now.”
He said the BJP should immediately resolve this and restore the temple otherwise people will launch a massive agitation.
Meanwhile, President of Aam Aadmi Party’s SC-ST Wing and East MCD councillor Kuldeep Kumar announced that they will march and gherao the BJP office at 11.30 am on Sunday to demand that the temple be restored.