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 Tughlakabad, 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.Taking serious note of the protests, the Chief Minister said while he did not wish to comment on the Supreme Court judgement, which had led to razing of the religious structure, he was personally not in favour of demolition of monuments/structures of such historical importance, connected so deeply with the sentiments of any community.The Chief Minister has also appealed to the community to call off their protests as his government was ready to extend its 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 and along with the Sarovar, which have been demolished.Legends say that Guru Ravidasji visited the sacred place around 1509 during the reign of Sikander Lodhi.
Extending all legal and financial assistance to the community to take the matter forward and rebuild the demolished structures at the same place, the Chief Minister has 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. The committee consists of Ch. Santokh Singh, Charanjit Singh Channi, Raj Kumar Chabbewal, Aruna Chaudhary and Sushil Kumar Rinku.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. It was essential to resolve the matter urgently, taking all the concerned parties, including DDA, into confidence with respect to the vast pool of legal and other evidence of proof the historic and religious links of the site with Sri Guru Ravidas ji himself.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, take all possible steps to restore the site to its original structure and layout.An official spokesperson meanwhile said the Chief Minister had taken cognisance of the issue amid protests by Dalits at Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Phagwara, Gurdaspur and Amritsar, where several state highways were blocked, causing hardship to commuters.The protesters, led by Sri Guru Ravidas Sadhu Sampardai Society chairman Sant Mohinderpal Pandwa, also blocked the national highway-1 opposite the Shiromani Guru Ravidas Temple near Chak Hakeem village on the Phagwara-Jalandhar stretch.