Thousands of people descended at Delhi’s iconic Ramlila Maidan on Wednesday to protest the recent demolition of a Ravidas Mandir in the national capital.
The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had demolished the temple on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court.
Many dalits wearing blue caps and carrying flags, protesters of all age groups marched from Ambedkar Bhawan in Jhandewalan to the Ramlila Maidan.
The huge numbers brought the traffic to a halt creating massive chaos in some areas.
Slogans of ‘Jai Bhim’ rain in the air. Protesters from Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and other states arrived demanding that the government hand over the plot of land to the community and rebuild the temple.
The protest in Delhi came a week after a similar protest of Dalits in Punjab on August 13 over the issue.
The issue has taken a political hue with various parties demanding that the temple be reconstructed either at the same spot in Tughlakabad forest area or at an alternative location.
The gathering in the national capital saw the presence of Delhi’s Social Justice Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad and spiritual leaders from the community. Gautam said their fight is against the injustice meted out to the community and not against the Supreme Court order.
Some people proceeded on an indefinite hunger strike at the Ramlila Maidan.
Meanwhile, BJP leader and former Union minister Vijay Goel said: “I have proposed that the temple be built at an alternative place after the approval of the Supreme Court. If they agree, we will take the matter up with the DDA.”
Source : Various