Jammu: The Jammu Development Authority (JDA) Tuesday sealed an old Hanuman temple in Jammu city, triggering protests and road blockade by people.
The protesters alleged that they were pushed out of the temple during aarti while the JDA said the structure was sealed because it was built illegally.
“The temple was built on foot-path in violation of rules. So we have sealed it,” vice-chairman of JDA, AK Shavan told PTI.
Several organisations, including VHP, RSS and Bajrang Dal, lashed out at the JDA and the BJP for the “sacrilegious act”.
Over 300 activists of Bajrang Dal assembled in front of the temple in Trikutanagar and blocked traffic as they sat on dharna on the road and raised slogans against JDA and Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh, who is also the chairman of JDA.
They demanded to unseal the temple and burnt an effigy of JDA vice-chairman Shavan.
“This is a sacrilegious act. Vice-Chairman of JDA has taken this action on the direction of someone in this government. We warn him that there will be dangerous ramification for doing this,” Rakesh Kumar, Head of Bajrang Dal, told reporters here.
“Jammu is a city of temples and we don’t care about any government, whether it is a government in the association of BJP,” he said.
The protesters alleged that the temple was sealed to create disturbance in Jammu.
“If it was built near a road, where was JDA and its team (until now)? Why it was not stopped when the temple was built. But now it is being sealed,” Sarveshwar Singh Pujari, a resident of Trikutanagar said.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Jammu, Arun Manhas, who reached the spot to pacify the protesters, suggested that the JDA open the temple immediately.
“I have requested the vice-chairman of the JDA to open the seal of the temple. Then they can hold probe as to how this temple was constructed. Let him probe it,” Manhas told reporters here.