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Punjab CM seeks PM's intervention to resolve Ravidas Temple demolition issue

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to personally intervene to resolve the tension triggered among the Ravidas community as a result of the recent demolition of the Sri Guru Ravidas Temple and Samadhi, located in Village Tughlaqabad, Delhi, on the orders of the Supreme Court.

"The Chief Minister's initiative followed state-wide protests by members of the community, under the banner of the Guru Ravidas Jayanti Samaroh Samiti, which has called for nationwide bandh on August 13 and announced observing 15th August as a Black Day," an official statement said.

The statement quoted the Chief Minister as saying that while he did not wish to comment on the Supreme Court judgement, which had led to the razing of the religious structure, he was personally not in favour of demolition of monuments or structures of such historical importance, connected so deeply with the sentiments of any community.

Appealing to the community to call off their protest, the Chief Minister assured full support to them to get the matter amicably resolved with the Central government.

"While appealing to the Prime Minister to step in for the resolution of the sensitive issue, Captain Amarinder also personally spoke to Union Urban Development Minister Hardeep Singh Puri to seek re-allotment of the same site, which reportedly belongs to the Delhi Development Authority to enable the community to reconstruct the temple along with the sarovar, which have been demolished," the statement read.

It also informed that the Chief Minister has extended all legal and financial assistance to the community to take the matter forward and rebuild the demolished structures at the same place and has also constituted a 5-member committee to meet the religious and political representatives of the community and formulate a comprehensive strategy to resolve the issue with the Centre.

Underlining the need to uphold the sanctity of the site, which has importance not only for Ravidas community but all Sikhs and Punjabis the world over, the Chief Minister said the demolition of the temple could trigger serious unrest in the community, not just in Punjab but in other places too.

"The Chief Minister said given the gravity and sensitivity of the matter, it was imperative that the Central government, led by the Prime Minister himself, takes all possible steps to restore the site to its original structure and layout," the official statement read.