Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Tuesday alleged that Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia is pretending to protect the unauthorised religious structures from demolition.
“The doublespeak and hypocrisy of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has once against been called out, this time over the issue of demolition of unauthorised religious structures. The unauthorised religious structures that Sisodia is pretending to “protect from demolition”, were actually recommended to be demolished by Sisodia himself which was further approved by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and sent to the LG for his nod,” an official note from the Raj Bhavan said.
On Monday, Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia appealed to the Delhi L-G to prevent the demolition of temples, mazars, and gurudwaras for infrastructure development projects in the national capital.
Addressing a press conference at Delhi Secretariat, Mr Sisodia said that these religious structures are visited by lakhs of devotees and have strong emotional connections with people, and their demolition could trigger a law and order situation in the capital.
Mr Sisodia’s appeal came after the Delhi Police released reports regarding the religious structures, recommending that the demolition can cause a riot situation but if it is still necessary, they [Delhi Police] would have to deploy a security force. However, the L-G had claimed that the Delhi government was holding back files related to the demolition of temples, mazars, and gurudwaras, which he claimed was affecting various development projects. A total of 67 temples, six mazars, and one gurudwara have been identified for demolition in 19 files.
While addressing a press conference at Delhi Secretariat, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia proposed that modifications could be made to the designs of the infrastructure development projects to avoid demolishing these religious structures.
He argued that in an era when modern architecture and technology have advanced, it is possible to modify designs to meet the requirements of the environment, and the same can be done in this case to save the temples, mazars, and gurudwaras. He emphasised that development is essential, but it should not hurt people’s religious sentiments.
The proposed infrastructure projects that identified the religious structures for demolition include the construction of several flyovers, roads, and housing projects by the central government. Structures marked for demolition in Delhi include Sarva Mangal Siddha Peeth, Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Dham, and Shyam Math Temple. In addition, 49 temples and one mazar have been identified for demolition under General Pool Residential Accommodation (GPRA) projects of the Central Government in Kasturba Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Srinivaspuri, and Thyagaraj Nagar.
Manish Sisodia urged the Lieutenant Governor to make design changes in the infrastructure projects to avoid the demolition of the religious structures. He emphasised that development is necessary, but it should not be at the cost of hurting people’s religious beliefs.
49 temples and 1 mazar has been marked for demolition in Kasturba Nagar, Sarojini Nagar, Netaji Nagar, Srinivaspuri, and Thyagaraj Nagar under GPRA projects of the Central Government.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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