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The story of the Ram temple in Ayodhya is being written in stone as a new supply arrives

Das, as well as other VHP leaders at the workshop, refused to disclose the names of the bhakts who had dispatched the huge stone pieces.

Written by Lalmani Verma | Ayodhya |
Updated: December 22, 2015 5:20:56 pm

As a fresh arrival of 35 tonnes of pink sandstone was unloaded at Ram Sewak Puram – the new workshop of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas in Ayodhya—speculation was rife among the locals: had the Narendra Modi government played a role in the supply of stones to push the Ram temple construction project and divert the Opposition’s attention to the Ram Janmabhoomi issue from targeting the Centre on other fronts?

Office bearers of the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) denied any role of the Modi government in the supply of stones to the workshop which took place on Sunday after a gap of eight years. However, they said that the arrival of the stones will increase the morale of Ram bhakts and may mount pressure on the central government to help build the Ram temple at Ram Janmabhoomi.

The disputed site which Hindus claim is the birthplace of Lord Ram, saw the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992 by Hindu activists. In 2010 the Allahabad High Court ruled that the 2.77 acres (1.12 ha) of Ayodhya land be divided into 3 parts, with 1/3 going to theRam Lalla or Infant Rama represented by the Hindu Mahasabha for the construction of the Ram temple, 1/3 going to the Islamic Sunni Waqf Board and the remaining 1/3 going to a Hindu religious denomination Nirmohi Akhara. This has been challenged in the Supreme Court by the Hindu Mahasabha and the Sunni Waqf Board. The Supreme Court has stayed the Allahabad  High Court judgement and is considering the matter.

Speaking to The Indian Express at Maniram Das Ki Chhavni, Nyas head Nritya Gopal Das said, “Some Ram bhakts in Rajasthan and Gujarat have sent these stones to speed up the work of carving structures for the planned temple. There is no contribution of the central government.”

Das, as well as other VHP leaders at the workshop, refused to disclose the names of the bhakts who had dispatched the huge stone pieces. The new workshop on a 3-acre lot was set up in 1998 for the cutting of huge pieces of stones which VHP leaders call, raw material. Each of the six huge pieces of pink sandstone unloaded in the workshop on Sunday has been inscribed with the word ‘Ram’ in coal.

Senior sants under the banner of Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas had met at Maniram Das Ki Chhavni in June earlier this year to discuss the matter, in presence of then patron of the VHP, Ashok Singhal who passed away recently. At the condolence meet for Singhal last month, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had said that Ram temple will be true tribute to Ashok Singhal.

At the June meeting, Nyas members had decided to collect stones instead of cash donations from Ram bhakts. Das said that they had issued a nationwide appeal to devotees to donate stone for the temple. VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma said that around 1.75 lakh cubic feet of stones was required to build the temple as per its proposed design. He said that around 1 lakh cubic metre stone had been purchased since 1990.

Sharma said that the supply of stones had been halted and work had slowed down because mining of sandstone of the required size had been stopped in Rajasthan. He added that the supply of fresh lot of stones was not contempt of any court.

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