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Chhattisgarh: Old Ram Mandir which was shut by Maosists 21-years-ago reopened in Sukma with help from CRPF jawans

CRPF Jawans from the 74 Corps revived the temple and handed over to the locals.

On Monday (8th April), an ancient Ram temple that was shut by the Naxalites in the Bastar region of Chhattisgarh was reopened after 21 years. The villagers in the Kerlapenda village, located about 90 km from the Sukma district headquarters of Bastar division cleaned the temple and performed the puja of the idols of Lord Rama, Goddess Sita, and Lakshman ji before worshipping.

Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed an election rally ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and slammed the Congress party and the INDI Alliance on the Ram temple issue. “The dream came true after 500 years. It is natural for the people of Chhattisgarh to be happy, as it is Lord Ram’s maternal grandparent’s house. But Congress and INDI alliance are angry with the construction of Ram Mandir,” the prime minister said at a rally in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar.

“The royal family of Congress rejected the invite for Ram Mandir’s ‘Pran Pratishtha’. The Congress leaders who termed this decision wrong were removed from the party. It shows that Congress can cross any limit for appeasement,” he added.

According to the reports, the villagers and tribal people in the Naxal-affected Chintalnar region of Sukma danced with joy as the ancient temple in the Bastar region was reopened after 21 years.

CRPF jawans from the 74 Corps worked with locals to revive the temple.

Sukma SP Kiran Chavan commented on the matter and said that the temple was closed by the Naxalites in the year 2003 and that the Maoists had threatened the villagers saying that no one should open it or visit to worship. “Villagers said that in 2003 when Naxals were most active, they had threatened the villagers to close the temple and said that no one should open it or visit to worship. The reason as understood was that the region was particularly the core zone of Maoists where they would camp, hold meetings, and use it as a corridor for their movement among other activities,” Chavan was quoted as saying.

Since the opening of approximately 40 security camps throughout the Bastar region, jawans have been able to visit the interior villages. A new CRPF camp was established between Kerlapenda and Lakhapal, and local tribals who had previously never interacted with outsiders became acquainted with security forces.

The said temple was spotted by one of the jawans who inquired about it. The locals then approached them and explained that Maoists attempted to cause damage to the temple in 2003, forcing it to close.

“There was a time when villagers used to organize a religious fair at the spot. At the request of tribal villagers, we initiated the reopening of the temple and extended our support in cleaning and organizing,” Himanshu Pandey, CRPF commandant of 74 battalions was quoted as saying by Times of India.

Notably, a medical camp was also organized on Monday (8th April) and villagers were initially terrified to go to the temple. However, later they could be seen dancing to the tunes of Ram Bhajans.

The temple’s exact origin is unknown, but locals say that worshipping Lord Ram is part of a mythology, thus they believe the temple was built in the 1970s. The community of 800 is currently planning a ‘bhandara’ for the upcoming Ram Navmi, and they wish to celebrate the festival in the temple.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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