Akhara Parishad wants installation of Singhal’s statue

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Prayagraj, Aug 10 (IANS) The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad (ABAP), the apex body of saints and seers, has demanded that a statue of late Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal, who was the architect of the Ram temple movement, should be installed in Ayodhya and Prayagraj.
The ABAP further said that a ‘kirti stambh’ (memorial pillar) should also be built in Ayodhya in the memory of those who had lost their lives during the temple movement.
“The names of such people should be inscribed on the pillars,” ABAP President Mahant Narendra Giri said.
The seers plan to get a resolution passed by ABAP and then send a formal proposal to the Centre.
The ABAP meeting is scheduled to be held in the third week of October during Navratri.
ABAP General Secretary Swami Hari Giri said: “The struggle for Ram temple in Ayodhya continued for decades and many people lost their lives during it. Former VHP chief Ashok Singhal, even gave his home to the struggle and the Kothari brothers (Ram Kumar and Sharad Kothari of Kolkata) died in police firing in Ayodhya on November 2, 1990.
“Now, when the construction of Ram temple is all set to start, we want a ‘kirti stambh’ to be constructed in their honor in Ayodhya and Prayagraj.”
Giri said he has prepared a proposal for the ‘kirti stambh’ and installation of Singhal’s statue near Sangam with names of those who played important roles in the struggle engraved on it.
“We will put up the proposal before the Akhara Parishad and get it passed. We will then send it to Central government for implementation,” he said.
He said the seers also want all cases registered against people involved in the struggle to be withdrawn.
“Now that the struggle for the Ram temple is over, the cases registered against people in connection with it should also be withdrawn. We have already made a formal request in this regard to the state government,” he said.
Giri said the seers have also decided to celebrate August 5 – the Ram temple ‘bhumi pujan’ day – as Diwali every year.

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