Ram temple trust chief offers prayers at shrine, his `first visit’ in 28 yrs

Ram temple trust chairman Mahant Nritya Gopal Das has offered prayers at the Ram Lalla shrine here on what is said to be his first visit to the makeshift temple in nearly three decades.

His visit Monday comes days after workers began levelling the site where a Ram temple will be constructed, following the Supreme Court verdict last year.

In a brief interaction later with the media, he said construction of the temple has begun .

In March, the Ram Lalla deity was ceremoniously moved to a new spot, clearing the way for the construction of the temple to start. On May 11, earth-moving machinery was deployed for levelling the site.

The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teertha Kshetra Trust head is an accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

The 16th-century Babri mosque that stood on the disputed site in Ayodhya was demolished in 1992 by kar sevaks claiming that originally there was a Ram temple at the same spot.

Ram Janambhoomi temple chief priest Acharya Satyendra Das confirmed that Mahant Nritya Das has not visited the shrine since then. He visited Monday to see the levelling work being carried out, the priest said.

In a historic verdict last November on the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute, the Supreme Court had ruled in favour of construction of a temple at the site.

It also ordered that an alternative five-acre plot must be found within Ayodhya for a mosque.