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'It's a Matter of Faith': Kejriwal Says Solution to Ravidas Temple Dispute Lies with Centre

The Ravidas temple was demolished by the DDA on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court. Tension prevailed in south Delhi's Tughlakabad area after a protest by Dalits against the demolition of the temple on Wednesday turned violent.

PTI

Updated:August 22, 2019, 7:49 PM IST
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'It's a Matter of Faith': Kejriwal Says Solution to Ravidas Temple Dispute Lies with Centre
File photo of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
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New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said he would swap 100 acres of forest land for the plot in Tughalakbad where a Ravidas temple stood till it was demolished by the DDA almost a fortnight ago. He asserted that the solution to the dispute lay with the Centre.

"It's a matter of faith of crores of people. The place is associated with Ravidas, it has got his vibrations. The matter has become a subject of petty politics," Kejriwal said in the Delhi Assembly. "All should work for construction of the temple. Around 12-15 crore people want the Centre to allocate this four-five acres of land for the temple," he said.

"Some people say it's forest land. If the DDA (Delhi Development Authority) gives this four-five acres of land to Ravidas Samaj, the Delhi government will give the Centre 100 acres of forest land. Solution to this lies only with the Centre," he added. BJP legislators OP Sharma and Vijender Gupta were marshalled out of the House for interrupting the chief minister's speech.

The Ravidas temple was demolished by the DDA on August 10 on the orders of the Supreme Court. Tension prevailed in south Delhi's Tughlakabad area after a protest by Dalits against the demolition of the temple on Wednesday turned violent. Several people, including policemen, were injured in the violence. Protesters brought traffic movement in several parts of Delhi to a standstill and demanded that the temple be rebuilt.

Meanwhile, Delhi's Ambedkar Nagar MLA Ajay Dutt tore open his shirt outside the Delhi Assembly on Thursday to protest against the demolition of Ravidas temple.

"If the BJP people don't want to let us live then they should hit us with sticks", the AAP MLA said. Dalit protesters, who had taken to the streets to protest the demolition of the temple on Wednesday had brought traffic movement in several parts of Delhi to a standstill.

The protesters asked the central government to rebuild the temple.

The protest had turned violent on Wednesday night, leaving several people, including policemen, injured.

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