Chandni Chowk redevelopment: BJP hits back at AAP as tensions mount over temple demolition

By: |
January 05, 2021 3:15 PM

Today, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal members staged a protest against the demolition. They took out a march from the Gauri Shankar Mandir to the demolition site.

The Mayor said that last year in August, the Delhi government wrote to the NDMC Commissioner stating that "these two places — Pagal Baba mandir and Chhota Hanuman Temple — should be removed as soon as possible. (Pic: IE)

Hanuman temple demolition controversy: The Delhi government of Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday targeted the BJP-ruled North MCD for the demolition of a Hanuman Temple in the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi. AAP MLA and spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said that the temple was demolished by the BJP-ruled North MCD in the presence of thousands of police personnel. He also attacked the Delhi BJP chief, saying he should answer how MCD officers told the Court that they were ready to demolish the temple without the knowledge of his Mayor and Standing Committee.

Today, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal members staged a protest against the demolition. They took out a march from the Gauri Shankar Mandir to the demolition site. Later, they were detained by the Police. Heavy police deployment was made in the area to prevent any untoward incident.

North MCD Mayor Jai Prakash has rejected the AAP’s allegations saying the Delhi government was misleading the people about the demolition. He blamed the Kejriwal government for the entire incident and said the state government could have saved the temple if it wanted. The Mayor further said that NDMC executed the order passed by the Court. “Who had gone to Court, it’s the Delhi government,” he said.

Explaining the matter, Jai Prakash said that the development work which is underway comes under the PWD of Delhi government. “In 2015, the Delhi government set up a Religious Committee, whose chairman was Satyendra Jain. The objective of the Committee was to either save the religious places or shift them at some other locations. Satyendra Jain saved five big places — Gauri Shankar Mandir, Lal Mandir, Gurudwara Shish Ganj, Fatehpur Masjid and a Church — but did nothing for two places, Pagal Baba Mandir and Hanuman Temple,” he said.

The Mayor said that the Delhi government left these five big religious places but had been trying to remove them. “They (Delhi govt) also did not make two temples a party in the Court. If the government wanted it could have made the party to give them relief. When they (representatives of temples) approached the court, the government officials did not turn up, otherwise they would have to submit their response. Temples case was dismissed.”

The Mayor said that last year in August, the Delhi government wrote to the NDMC Commissioner stating that “these two places — Pagal Baba mandir and Chhota Hanuman Temple — should be removed as soon as possible. But we and the NDMC tried to save it. But on January 3, the NDMC had to execute the Court order under the pressure of the Delhi Court.”

Prakash said that the “Delhi government is responsible for this unfortunate incident”. He said that he himself wrote to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on November 9 stating that the Court order has come for demolition but you either leave it at the same place or shift it some other location. “But the chief minister did not respond to my letter,” Prakash said. He said that the way Delhi government saved five big places they could have also saved it by shifting or accommodating it. “The Delhi government had the power to save it, it also has enough land there to shift temples,” he said.

On the allegation of AAP that the BJP-ruled NDMC demolished the temple, Prakash said that if the civic body demolished the temple then none of their leaders came to save it either. He said the local MLA is from AAP, chairman of Nagar Nigam is from AAP but no one raised this issue. “If the project is of the Delhi government, then it is responsible for the demolition,” the Mayor said.

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