A Priest and 16 Cops in Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir Site Test Positive for COVID-19July 31, 2020 17:51
(Image source from: jhalak.com)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the ground breaking ceremony of the Ramp temple on August 5. The decision on conducting the ceremony on August 5 is yet to be decided.
Acharya Pradeep Das, assistant to the chief priest of Ram Janmabhoomi temple has said that he has tested positive for the coronavirus, on Friday.
Besides the assistant priest, 16 policmen who were on ground duty in the construction site of the Ram temple have also tested positive for COVID-19 raising alarm among other people at the site.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend the site and do the Bhumi Pujan on August 5 along with 200 other guests.
Last Saturday, UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had visited the Ram temple construction site to monitor the works and preparations being done for the ground breaking ceremony on August 5.
Photos and videos from the same day when UP CM visited Ayodhya show that the coronavirus-positive assistant priest, Pradeep Das was standing beside the UP Chief Minister during a ritual.
The Ram Janmabhoomi Trust’s senior priest Acharya Satyendra Das who is going to lead the Bhumi pujan ceremony on August 5 was also seen standing next to these men.
However, the Ram Janmabhoomi trust sources had said that the ceremony will be held as usual by maintaining and following all safety rules for COVID-19.
At present, Ayodhya has 375 active cases of the coronavirus while Uttar Pradesh has 29,997 positive cases as on today.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra’s Navnirman Sena’s Chief Raj Thackeray on Friday said that the bhumi pujan ceremony scheduled to be held on August 5 need not be conducted amid the COVID-19 and can be organized once the situation comes to normal.
However, Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has suggested the e-bhumi pujan to be held instead of a gathering of 200 people.
Raj Thackeray rejected the CM’s suggestion and said that the ground breaking ceremony should be done with great fervor and devotion.
Considering the COVID-19 positive cases in the temple site itself, the Ayodhya may follow the standard operating procedures issued by health ministry for visiting religious places.
According to health ministry’s SOP on religious places congregation, no person above 65 years should attend any religious meet or religious places and are advised to stay at home itself.
Considering the positive cases of the priest and cops at the temple site, if the event decides to follow the SOP’s issued by the health ministry, then PM Modi cannot attend the event on August 5.
Moreover, besides PM Modi, senior BJP leaders like L K Advani, Murali Manohar Joshi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagawat too cannot attend the ground breaking ceremony.
By Gayatri Yellayi