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Kejriwal requests Centre to denotify Ravidas temple land

New Delhi , Sept 11 : Weeks after activists went on a rampage, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday requested the central government to denotify the forest land to facilitate the construction of Sant Ravidas Temple in Tughlaqabad area in south Delhi.

In a letter to Union Minister of State for Urban Affairs (Independent Charge) Hardeep Singh Puri, Kejriwal requested to denotify the land parcel, currently forest land, so that the temple can be built where it once stood.

Terming the demolition of the temple as "injustice", he said the Delhi Development Authority's (DDA) act to raze the temple to the ground on instructions of the Supreme Court had caused "tremendous hurt to the sentiments of crores of people".

"This has caused tremendous hurt to the sentiments of crores of people. Sant Ravidas Ji was a revered saint, not just for the Dalit community, but for all communities. His teachings have been empowering and uplifting for generations of people over five centuries," he wrote in the letter.

He further said "I have been given to understand that there is still an opportunity to correct this injustice and restore the Sant Ravidas Ji temple. The DDA can exercise its discretion to act in accordance with the public sentiment."

The temple was demolished by the DDA, which comes under the Centre, last month, prompting Dalit activists to take to the street to protest against the decision.

"DDA will need to submit a proposal to the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change through the government of NCT of Delhi, for notifying the diversion of the land," he wrote.

The Chief Minister assured Puri that state government would act in a time-bound manner on the proposal to denotify the land.

Social Welfare Minister Rajendra Pal Gautam earlier wrote a letter to the DDA vice-chairman on the same issue.

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Kejriwal requests Centre to denotify Ravidas temple land


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