Chennai, May 23: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) will organise a two-day national meeting of 'Sadhus' from June 15 at Haridwar to press the Centre to announce Ram Setu as a national heritage of historical importance. Talking to newspersons here yesterday, VHP International President Ashok Singhal said the two-day meeting would strengthen the VHP movement against the Rs 2,400-crore Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP). ''The meeting would also decide on a 'massive agitation' involving more than 50,000 people in support of the Ram Sethu Movement,'' he added.
He said ''the belief over Ram Setu was centuries-old and has followers not only in our country but across South East Asia, including Cambodia and Indonesia among others.'' While welcoming the recent Supreme Court directive to the Centre on undertaking an archaelogical survey of the monument, Mr Singhal said ''the meeting will unambiguously demand the Centre announce Ram Setu as national monument.'' Recalling the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) affidavit in the Supreme Court doubting the existence of Lord Ram, he claimed this had resulted in even the Congress getting divided over the project.
Claiming the implementation of the project as a 'great risk for the country's security', Mr Singhal expressed apprehension it could also destroy the country's thorium deposits in the region.