RAMGARH: The mosque and the temple, which were hindering the expansion of NH-33 in Ramgarh, were removed peacefully on Sunday in presence of administrative officials and senior police personnel.
The 352km highway connects Barhi in Hazaribagh with Bahragora in East Singhbhum, and the temple and mosque fall on the road between Ranchi and Ramgarh. A Hindu religious group here and some political workers were up in arms against the district administration for razing the temple before the mosque. However, things were pacified with the district commissioner’s intervention.
NH-33 from Hazaribag to Ranchi will be widened into a four-lane expressway by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) which is in completion stage. But dispute arose when Muslims denied to remove a mosque and demanded to divert the expressway leaving their place of worship untouched. Hindus on the other hand agreed to remove the Kali temple coming in the middle of expressway waiting for the administration to remove the mosque as well.
One year after defying prohibitory orders, thousands of people of different Hindu religious group, including villagers supported by BJP, All Jharkhand Students’ Union and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha began building a temple to Goddess Kali on the middle of a four-lane highway near Kankebar, in Ramgarh district on January 19 and announced that since the other religious group did not remove the mosque they were also going to have the Kali temple in the middle of highway.
People brought bricks, cement and other construction materials on NH-33 and started building the temple despite the prohibition order, claiming the administration had ordered the temple’s removal from the place a year ago when the highway was being built, but had left a mosque in the same area.
Meanwhile, Tension between two community prevailed when Vishwa Hindu Parishad International Working President Praveen Togadia arrived here on Janurary 19 and offered prayer in the temple built at the middle of highway. Apprehending trouble, the administration beefed up security in the town and other sensitive places.
Meanwhile Abu Imran, DC, Ramgarh recently held separate meetings with both religious groups and eminent personalities of the town and asked to co-operate the administration for widening of NH-33 into four-lane expressway. Both groups agreed to remove their places of worship from NH-33.
Muslim community came forward to remove Noorie Masjit which falls in the under construction road project. Amid huge deployment of security forces Noorie masjit was removed and paved the way of construction of expressway. Soon after the mosque was removed Hindu community started removing the newly constructed Kali temple from the middle of expressway on Sunday.
Dileshwar Mahto, Sub-divisional officer, Ramgarh said that people of Ramgarh want development as well as peace and communal harmony in the town which promoted the people belonging to Hindu and Muslim to remove their places of worship after performing the religious rituals as per their religion.
Meanwhile hundreds of devotees most of women from nearby villages came to newly constructed Kali temple and offered prayer to the Goddess.
Asha Devi, a local resident said that when she heard that Kali temple would be removed on Sunday she came to give a tearful farewell to Goddess Kali and she joined rituals of puja in the temple.