Punjab Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi on Tuesday said the state is ready to bear the entire expenditure to be incurred on land allotment by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for the construction of the Sant Ravidas temple in the national capital.
The centuries-old Ravidas temple in Tughlakabad was demolished by the DDA on August 10 in 2019 following a Supreme Court order. Since then, a series of protests have been organised by Dalit organisations.
The temple was built in the 15th century on land allocated by the then Delhi emperor, Sikander Lodhi. Guru Ravidas had spent three days at the same place in Delhi where this temple was built.
An official statement quoting Channi said the DDA had recently asked the Guru Ravidas Vishram Dham Mandir Chamarwala Johar Tughlakabad Committee to submit Rs 4.33 crore for taking 400 sq m land with the capitalised rent for 30 years.
Since the amount was hefty, Channi said various delegations have approached him for seeking requisite contribution from the state government.
He said as the state government is following the ideology of Guru Ravidas in the right earnest and therefore in the same spirit, they have now decided that if the committee desires so, the state government will bear the entire expense for procuring the land to construct the temple at Tughlakabad.
Sant Ravidas was a 16th century spiritual leader who is worshiped by Dalits. Many of his teachings were also included in the Guru Granth Sahib, the holiest book for the Sikhs.
The Dalit community has a large population in state’s Doaba region comprising Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala districts.