New Dalit outfit protests temple demolition
PHAGWARA: In unabated fury over the demolition of the Ravida Temple in Delhi’s, thousands of activists of the newly-floated Dalit outfit ‘Bahujan Front Punjab’, constituted to spearhead a agitation for rebuilding the historic temple marched from local PWD Rest House towards Urban Estate via National Highway1 with view to lay siege to Central minister Som Parkash’s residence but a heavy police force, headed by Superintendent of Police Manpreet Singh Dhillon, foiled their attempt.
Shri Guru Ravidas Sadhu Sampardai Society, headed by Sant Mohinderpal Pandwa, extended their support to them. So did the Congress party as former Punjab minister and three-time Phagwara MLA Joginder Singh Mann also joined them. Shiromani Akali Dal (A) and LIP activists also expressed their solidarity with them.
The protesters shouted anti-Modi, anti-RSS and anti-Parkash slogans in the rally August 28. Led by Front chairman Sukhjinder Kotli, they earlier held a noisy rally.
It was addressed by community seers Sant Mohinderpal Pandwa, Sant Kishan Nath of Chaheru, Congress stalwart Joginder Singh Mann, BSP leader Harbhajan Suman, SAD(A) leader Jathedar Rajinder Singh Fauji, Lok Insaaf Party’s SC wing’s state president Jarnail Nangal, Dalit leaders Surinder Dhanda and Lekhraj Jamalpur and fiery singer Rajni Thakkarwal.
Protesters, including a large number of women, braving the blazing sun and hot and humid weather, had a scuffle with police at the barricade put up 200 meters away from minister’s residence.
Police faced a tough time in controlling them. Charged-up protesters succeeded in breaking the police cordon and some of them climbed up the seven-foot high robust iron barricade with a view to crossing over to the minister’s residence but police prevented them from advancing. At this, they staged a sit-in protest near the barricade on road.
Addressing them, Kotli declared that it was the first phase of the protest at the Doaba-level. He also declared that residence of Central Minister Hardeep Singh Puri will also be gheraoed in coming days. Protesters demanded an unconditional apology from Union government for demolition of the temple, re-allotment of land and rebuilding of the historic temple at the same place in Tughlaqabad, Delhi.
They also demanded the release of 96 protesters arrested during a protest in New Delhi August 21. They also said that they will give Rs 21,000 each to the families of those Punjab protesters who were arrested at Delhi. The protest ended after four hours when a memorandum was submitted to Additional Deputy Commissioner Babita Kler.
Dalits had resorted to road blockades August 10, Punjab Bandh August 13, protest in Delhi on August 21, attempted gherao of minister’s residence here August 26 ever since Delhi’s Tughlaqabad Ravidas temple demolition August 10 on orders of the apex court.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash said that the Central government was committed to rebuilding the temple.
Alleging that certain elements were opposing him just to malign the BJP out of political motives, Parkash said he had met Central ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and Thawar Chand Gehlot in this regard and a legal way out will be found to rebuild the temple
Courtesy : India Post