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Ayodhya: Padmashri Mohd Sharif, who has been cremating unclaimed dead bodies for years, invited for Bhoomi Pujan

Mohammad Sharif, popularly called Sharif chacha in Ayodhya, has been performing the last rites of unclaimed dead bodies for the last 27 years. He buries or cremates them as per religion.

The Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has reportedly sent an invite to Mohammed Sharif, also known as ‘Sharif Chacha, to attend the Bhoomi Pujan of the majestic Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on August 5.

On Monday, Champat Rai, the Secretary of the Trust, informed that Sharif had been invited to the foundation ceremony, along with Iqbal Ansari, a petitioner who argued against Ram Mandir the long legal battle for the Ram Janmabhoomi. As per reports, Mohammed Sharif was awarded the Padma Shri in January this year for cremating thousands of unclaimed dead bodies over the past 27 years. Ansari had accepted the invitation believing it to be the wish of Shri Ram.

Mohammed Sharif carries the dead on his bicycle

Reportedly, Sharif hails from Ayodhya and is a bicycle mechanic by profession. Following his son’s death several years ago whose body was found partially devoured by animals on railway tracks, he decided to honour the dead. Since then, he had been cremating unclaimed dead bodies according to their religious customs. Sharif would visit hospitals and police stations to claim unidentified bodies and the authorities would hand it over to him if none claimed the body of the deceased within 72 hours.

He would then carry the corpse on his bicycle to the nearby cremation centre or burial ground to perform the final rites. Although he was considered insane by many, his work was recognised by the Government of India. Highlighting that he did not discriminate against the dead on the basis of religion, he said, “Kya Hindu, kya Musalman, sabse pehle insaan (What Hindu, What Muslim, we are human beings above all).”

Coronavirus protocols to be adhered to during Bhoomi Pujan

Reportedly, the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has decided to send sweets to the foreign Consulates in Delhi, besides distribution in the city of Ayodhya. As per reports, the Trust has placed orders for 16 lac laddoos from Lucknow and Delhi. With regard to maintaining social distancing protocols, DIG Deepak Kumar said, “Under the COVID protocol, not more than five people will be allowed to gather at one place in Ayodhya on August 5. The security arrangements are being made for all the VVIPs and the invited guests. All the boundaries of Ayodhya and Faizabad city will be sealed from the eve of the main event of Bhoomi Pujan. No one will be allowed to enter.”

PM Modi, RSS chief to attend the event

The Bhoomi Pujan will be attended by prominent leaders such as Mahesh Bhagchandka, PM Narendra Modi, Pawan Singhal, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat, Nritya Gopal Das Ji Maharaj, UP CM Yogi Adityanath and Governor Anandiben Patel. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will first do Darshan Pujan at Shri Hanumangarhi temple, followed by Puja of Lord Ram at Ram Janmabhoomi. Following this, the Bhoomi Pujan and stage event will be conducted. The Bhoomi Pujan that is scheduled to take place in Ayodhya will witness a total footfall of 175 eminent guests. According to the trust, around 135 priests and Hindu spiritual leaders following several sects and traditions of the faith will participate in the said event.

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