VHP rejects Government's claim that Lord Rama destroyed Ram Sethu

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Coimbatore, July 28 : The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has rubbished the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government's assertion before the Supreme Court that the Ram Sethu or Adam's bridge had been destroyed by Lord Ram himself.

The VHP's International President Ashok Singhal told media persons, the fact that Lord Ram destroyed the bridge is not mentioned anywhere in the Kamba Ramayan.

He further added that the Centre is doing such things to appease the Dravida Munnettra Kazhagam (DMK) leader and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, whose party is a partner in the UPA coalition.

Singhal was replying to questions on the Union Government's stand on the Sethusamdudram Shipping Canal Project (SSCP).

VHP International General secretary Praveen Togadia, who was also present, said that the saints and Hindu leaders at a meeting at Haridwar had demanded that the Sethu be declared a historical monument.

Togadia also said, "Ram Sethu will be protected at any cost."

The 560-million dollar project, approved by the government in 2005, plans to dredge a channel in a narrow strip of sea between India and Sri Lanka, reducing distances and cutting costs for freight traffic.

When the project is finished, ships sailing between India's Western and Eastern coasts will not have to go around the south of Sri Lanka, and is expected to save up to 36 hours of sailing time which would strengthen the Country's economy by expanding International and maritime trade.

Hindu groups have been opposing the 560 million dollars project, saying it would destroy the 'holy' Ram Sethu, a 48-kilometre chain of limestone shoals that once linked Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu to Mannar in Sri Lanka.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had stopped construction work at Ram Sethu Project after a number of writ petition were filed seeking stoppage of demolition of the mythological bridge believed to have been constructed by Lord Rama.

The Tamil Nadu Government has requested the Centre not to shelve the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project because of the issues raised by some people for their political gain.

ANI

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