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AAP MLAs to stage stir at Jantar Mantar against temple 'demolition'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

AAP MLAs will hold a protest at Jantar Mantar here on Wednesday against the DDA allegedly demolishing a temple in the Tughlakabad area, Delhi Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam said on Tuesday.

He added that Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) workers from Haryana and Punjab will also participate in the protest.

Gautam said the Centre should take a decision in the matter at the earliest.

He also alleged that the BJP-led central government had stopped the entry of passenger trains into Delhi from Haryana and Punjab in order to prevent people from coming to the national capital to lodge their protest against the demolition.

"The BJP government is trying to annihilate the voices of Dalits regarding this issue. The government resorted to repressive steps like stopping buses and nearly 15 passenger trains from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in order to prevent people from joining the protest," Gautam said.

He said all the AAP MLAs will take part in the protest and also raise the issue in the Delhi Assembly session starting Thursday.

"Despite my letter to the prime minister on August 12 and two days of protests at the BJP headquarters, the central government has not taken any proactive measure to solve the issue of the demolition of the Sant Ravidas Temple," he said.

The minister said Wednesday's protest will be peaceful.

He alleged that the Centre breached the trust of Dalits and failed to take everyone on board as it always claimed.

The demolition of the Guru Ravidas temple in a forest area in Tughlakabad here led to a huge controversy, with the AAP seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in ensuring that the land be given back to the Ravidas community to rebuild the place of worship.

Gautam had earlier alleged that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had demolished the temple in the presence of police on August 10 and the statue was "taken away".

The DDA, however, did not use the word temple and said the "structure was removed as per the orders of the Supreme Court".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 20 2019. 19:40 IST