Week ahead of Ram temple event, priest and 16 cops test COVID positive

The groundbreaking ceremony is slated for August 5 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to lay the foundation stone

A time capsule consisting of facts and history of Ram Mandir will be buried 2,000 ft beneath the temple site . Photo: PTI.

Few days ahead of the grand Ram temple foundation laying ceremony, a priest and 16 policemen on duty at Ayodhya’s Ram Janambhoomi complex have tested positive for coronavirus, sources said.

The groundbreaking ceremony is slated for August 5 where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to attend and lay the foundation stone of the temple.

Preparations are taking place in elaborate manner for the three-day Vedic rituals at the Ram Janmabhoomi site in Ayodhya which will be performed by a group of 11 priests from Varanasi and Ayodhya. The rituals will begin on August 3 and end with a ‘bhumi pujan’ on August 5 before the construction of the temple commences.

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Additionally, a time capsule consisting of facts and history of Ram Mandir will be buried 2,000 ft beneath the temple site to prevent any disputes in the future.

Earlier Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adithyanath visited the temple site on July 25 and took stock of the preparations under full swing for the grand ceremony. Keeping in mind the COVID situation which is rearing its ugly head in the country, Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Tirtha Kshetra (SRJTK) said there will not be more than 200 people in total, including 150 invitees for the foundation stone-laying ceremony.

Some of the big names in the invitees list include BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Murli Manoj Joshi and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. Invitations were also extended to  Iqbal Ansari, Waseem Rizvi and Zufar Faruqui who were all litigants in the Ayodhya land dispute case. While litigant Iqbal Ansari and UP Shia Waqf Board chairman Waseem Rizvi were forthcoming to accept the invitation, chairman of the UP Sunni Waqf Board, Zufar Faruqui said he will take a call once he receives the invite.

 

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