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Hindu saints to move SC to save under-sea bridge

Written by: Staff

Varanasi, July 7 (UNI) Hindu saints will file a PIL in the Supreme Court to save the under-sea bridge -- they claim to have been built by Lord Ram -- from destruction under the ambitious Sethusamudram Project.

The PIL will be filed probably on July 10 seeking legal intervention for saving the 45-km bridge made from limestone shoals, between the island of Mannar near North West Sri Lanka and Rameshwaram off the South Western coast of India, Hindu Dharmacharya Sabha (HDS) trustee Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati told mediapersons here today.

''The bridge whose satellite images were released on October 8, 2002 by NASA is the bridge built by the monkey army of Lord Ram to cross over to Lanka (now Sri Lanka) to rescue goddess Sita from the captivity of demon king Ravana,'' the Swami maintained.

''NASA has stated the bridge is over 17 lakh yrs old and christened it as Adam's Bridge. The bridge, however, was not built by Adam and Eve, but the monkey army of the Hindu god,'' he added.

Demanding the bridge be declared a national treasure as it serves an important pilgrimage to Hindus, he said it was under threat to pave way for the ambitious Sethusamudram project.

''We will not let the Centre do this to a mythological treasure in the name establishing a navigable sea trade route. A massive demonstration will be staged at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi tomorrow by saints from across the country in this regard,'' he warned.

The demonstration will be followed by the filing of a PIL in the apex court by seven petitioners representing the HDS against the Union of India and Sethusamudram Corporation Limited -- the nodal agency of the central project -- counsel for the saints P N Mishra said.

Mr Mishra said the PIL will seek legal intervention as the demolition will amount to violation of Fundamental Right to religious freedom, besides the provisions of Worship Places (Special Provisions) Act, Ancient Monument Archaeological Sites and Remains Protection Act 1958 and the UNESCO Paris Convention 1972.

Mr Mishra said the PIL was necessary as tenders have already been invited for the demolition of the bridge.

Sethusamudram Project envisages cutting a traverse across the Palk Straits between Sri Lanka and India. It also involves creation of a navigable canal across the Gulf of Mannar, Palk Bay and Palk Straits, which will save 400 km of sailing distance between east and west coasts of India.


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