India

Ram Temple Trust Head Tests COVID Positive Days After Sharing Stage With PM Modi at Ayodhya Ceremony

On 5 August, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched construction of a grand temple dedicated to revered Hindu God Ram at a venue Hindus believe was the birthplace of the idol. The temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh will be complete in three years.

Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the chief of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, set up for the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, has tested positive for COVID-19.

Shortly before being diagnosed with coronavirus, Das complained of breathing problems. His health is now being monitored by a team of doctors.

The results came slightly over a week after he shared a stage with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the foundation-laying ceremony for the Ram Temple.

Among other prominent personalities who shared the stage with the trust head during the foundation-laying ceremony on 5 August, were Uttar Pradesh Chief Yogi Adityanath, State Governor Anandiben Patel, and Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) Chief Mohan Bhagwat.

On 5 August, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a grand temple dedicated to Lord Ram, incarnation of the all-powerful among the Hindu trinity in Ayodhya, believed to be his birthplace.

The ceremony was the culmination of a 500-year dispute between Hindus and Muslims: the former claim that Mughal ruler Babur demolished the Ram Temple and constructed a mosque on the site during the 16th century.

Hindu zealots razed the mosque to the ground on 6 December 1992, sparking one of the worst communal riots in India post-independence. The legal dispute between Muslims and Hindus was only resolved by the Supreme Court last year. The court handed ownership of the land to Hindus, allowing them to build the temple.

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