Tribune News Service
Jalandhar, August 12
Ahead of the bandh call by Dalit organisations and Sant Samaj on Tuesday over the issue of demolition of Guru Ravidas Temple in Delhi, state ministers Charanjit Channi and Aruna Chaudhary today held hectic parleys with community leaders seeking their assurance for a peaceful dharna.
The ministers, Jalandhar MP Chaudhary Santokh Singh and local MLAs met representatives of various dera heads and assured them that the Congress leadership would be part of the dharna on Tuesday and that they too would join in to demand from the Centre for restoration of the historic temple in Delhi.
The civil and police administration accompanied the leaders as they even went to Dera Ballan and met its chief Sant Niranjan Dass. Sant Gurdeep Giri of Pathankot met the leaders at Circuit House.
Another serious concern for the administration and the government is a two-day visit of Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh to Jalandhar scheduled on August 14 and 15. A day before hoisting the Tricolour at the state-level function here, the CM is scheduled to visit Jang-e-Azadi Memorial at Kartarpur for the opening of its third phase and lay foundation stones of as many as 13 projects, including those related to Punjab Technical University, digitally from the same venue.
The police and administration have been working overtime to ensure that the protesting organisations remain at bay and do not hamper the CM’s schedule. Ravidas Samaj has already announced to hold protest outside Guru Gobind Singh Stadium here where the state-level Independence Day function is scheduled.
Balbir Garcha, president, Bhim Army, said, “Road blockades would start in Punjab from 9 am onwards for an indefinite period till our leaders urge us to lift them. We will lift the dharna only after we get an assurance for the reconstruction of Guru Ravidas Temple in Delhi.”
Meanwhile, a holiday has been declared in almost all schools and colleges on Tuesday and almost all market associations have chosen to keep their shutters down.
Sangrur: Members of the Dalit Welfare Sangathan, Punjab, announced support to the call for bandh in Punjab on August 13. “We will intensify our agitation against the temple demolition,” said Darshan Kangra, state president of the sangathan.
Minister to meet Delhi Guv today
- Phagwara: Expressing concern over the demolition of Guru Ravidas Mandir in Delhi, Union Minister of State Som Parkash has appealed to the followers of Guru Ravidas to avoid “Punjab Bandh” and maintain peace in the state.
- Talking to mediapersons, Parkash said he along with Union Minister Hardeep Puri would meet the Governor of Delhi to solve the problem in this regard on Tuesday. The minister assured the Ravidassia community that he would make all efforts to redress the problem.
Reallocate site: Jakhar
- Chandigarh: Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar on Monday extended his party's support to the Ravidas community on the demolished temple issue, but appealed to them to ensure that the common people are not adversely impacted as a result of their protests.
- In a statement issued here, Jakhar said the party stood by the community and would help in every possible way to pursue the case for reallocation of the historic site and reconstruction of the temple demolished in Delhi on the Supreme Court orders.