Mahant flays Centre over ASI affidavit in Sethusamudram case

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Varanasi, Sep 13 (UNI) Mahant of the blast-hit Sankatmochan temple today termed the affidavit filed in the Supreme Court by ASI on behalf of the Union government in the Sethusamudram case ''an onslaught on the faith and belief of Hindus across the world.'' Mahant Veer Bhadra Mishra said the failure to vehemently protest the development would only goad the government to even nullify the existence of other places of worship of Hindus, including Ayodhya.

He announced that members of the Sankat Mochan Foundation and the 16th century Hanuman temple will stage a dharna outside the Hanuman Temple at Tulsi Ghat against the ''government misadventure''.

The Hanuman temple at the Tulsi Ghat is believed to be the place where Goswami Tulsidas scripted the epic Ramcharitmanas.

''It is outrageous for the government and organisations like the ASI and Space Application Centre (SAC), Ahmedabad to pass comments doubting the existence of the characters or the occurence of events depicted in the Valmiki Ramayana and Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas.

''We assert that characters like Lord Ram, Lord Hanuman and events depicted in our holy religious texts like Ramasethu are integral to our faith and belief and the affidavit has not only hurt us but is also against the spirit of Indian Constitution which considers faith and belief as sacred,'' Prof Mishra, a former faculty of Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IT-BHU) said.

''The ASI and SAC must realise their limitations as this fresh twist has been given to the issue of Ramasethu by ASI and others with the sole objective of winning the case in the apex court, overlooking the sentiments of Hindus across the globe.'' Prof Mishra said it would unnecessarily provoke Hindus and hence the government must take steps to save the situation from snowballing.

''If the government does not rectify its ''mistake'', soon our dharna outside the temple will become indefinite,'' he threatened.

UNI

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