The roads of Delhi on August 10 remained frustrating for commuters; as thousands of them across the region remained a harried lot on Saturday as members of the Dalit community held protests and blocked highways this morning, hours after the Supreme Court orders, over the demolition of Guru Ravidas temple in Tughlaqabad area in Delhi.
Historic temple of Shri Guru Ravidas located in Shri Guru Ravidas Marg, New Delhi's Tughalaqabad Village was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on orders of the Supreme Court inciting intense protests and agitation. Paramjit Singh Kainth, President of the National Scheduled Castes Alliance, lamenting his disappointment at the incident said, "Ram Janam Bhumi's question has been going on for generations and every proceeding relating to it is handled with utmost caution, but when the Supreme Court is asked to decide on a matter of utmost importance to the Scheduled Castes community, it goes on blatantly ignoring the people's wishes, asking for demolition."
The sit-in protests took place across the state at 14 locations. The dharnas started at approximately 11.15 am and continued for four hours while the commuters remained stranded waiting for the agitators to lift the blockade. Traffic police staff guided motorists through villages to longer diversions that led to a lot of inconvenience. Many roads where Dalit protesters kept chanting "Jai Bhim" slogans were seen over a kilometer of jams.
Reactions from the Opposition
Meanwhile, Santokh Singh Chaudhary, Congress MP, appealed to Guru Ravidas ' supporters for peace. He claimed that from the shrine, which was an act of sacrilege, the police removed Guru Ravidas and Guru Granth Sahib idol. He alleged that the Delhi police removed from the shrine the idol of Guru Ravidas and Guru Granth Sahib and arrested devotees present there, which was a sacrilege act. He said he'd meet with Delhi's Union Minister of Urban Development and Lieutenant Governor and make sure the temple was restored.
The Aam Aadmi Party criticised the shrine demolition center for the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Modi-led BJP government. AAP legislators, led by LoP Harpal Singh Cheema, said in a declaration that the move had hurt a big amount of followers ' religious feelings. They claimed the act had brought the government's anti-Dalit face to the fore.