UP CM Leads Ram Temple Rituals at Ayodhya Day after PM Announced Nationwide Lockdown, Home Ministry Banned Religious Congregations
LUCKNOW, MARCH 25— Even after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced complete nationwide lockdown from Tuesday midnight in view of the Coronavirus endemic and Union Home Ministry announced closure of all religious places for public and banned all religious congregations “without any exception”, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath led Ram Temple rituals in Ayodhya early Wednesday morning. He went to Twitter and himself announced about the event. He also shared photos.
“Ayodhya has made a call…The first phase of construction of grand Ram Temple concluded today, Lord Ram has moved from tirpal to new place…Shifted the idol of ‘Ram Lalla’ to a temporary structure near Manas Bhawan. Donated Rs 11 lakh for construction of grand temple,” tweeted UP CM at 6:45 AM today along with three pictures of the event wherein he is seen leading the rituals.
The event was earlier scheduled but reports had come that in view of the lockdown due to the Coronavirus, this could be deferred. However, according to NDTV, Yogi reached Ayodhya late Tuesday night after the PM announced nationwide lockdown. Along with Yogi, at least 20 people attended the ritual Wednesday morning, the TV channel said. Besides CM Yogi, many prominent saints from the town, senior government officials including Ayodhya's district magistrate and SP were in attendance.
Soon after the PM’s Tuesday 8 PM address, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs had issued three-page guidelines regarding the lockdown. The ministry announced shops, markets, offices and institutions except those engaged in essential services.
The HMO guidelines also mentioned restrictions on religious activities. “All places of worship shall be closed for public. No religious congregations will be permitted, without any exception,” said the ministry.
Meanwhile, over three lakh people have been infected with the highly contagious disease across the globe and over 13,000 of them have died. In India, the number of active Coronavirus patients has crossed 500 mark -- while 40 have been cured and discharged, nine have died, said the Union Ministry of Health.
In November last year, the Supreme Court of India had ordered construction of Ram Temple at the place where 16th century Babri Masjid stood till it was razed to ground by a Hindutva mob in December 1992. The top court had awarded 5 acres of land at some other place for construction of a mosque.
In run up to the Delhi Assembly elections in February this year, Prime Minister Modi had announced setting-up of a Ram Temple panel to oversee the construction of the temple.