The Vishwa Hindu Parishad appears determined to lock horns with the state and central governments on the issue of construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya with plans to ensure a massive gathering in the temple town on March 15.
Ram Temple Trust chief Mahant Ram Chandra Paramhans and VHP chief Ashok Singhal have announced that the VHP 'will start carting of stones specially carved for the temple from our workshop in Ayodhya to the proposed site of the temple'.
The state administration has, however, made it clear that they would not allow this at any cost in view of the apex court's order for status quo.
"Orders have already been issued and the pillars will not be allowed to be moved outside the workshop," said UP's Principal Home Secretary Naresh Dayal.
However, a defiant Paramhans told rediff.com over telephone that he would 'court arrest, if necessary'.
To keep the issue alive, the VHP had initiated a 100-day yagna (religious programme) in Ayodhya on Sunday.
The devoted have been continuously thronging the ancient temple town even to attend the yagna even as preparations were afoot for the temple construction programme.
The yagna is described as a prelude to the commencement of construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site where a 16th century mosque was pulled down a decade ago.
A makeshift structure already exists on the debris of the mosque, but the VHP proposes to erect a 'grand' structure in contravention of the apex court's order that calls for status quo.
The yagna is being organized at 'Karsewak Puram' - a colony created by the VHP about two kilometres away from the disputed site to accommodate the thousands of devotees who converged on the ancient temple town in the days preceding the demolition of the Babri mosque by violent fundamentalists in December 1992.
"About 5000 persons have reached Ayodhya since Monday night to attend the yagna and we expect more to arrive later in the day," Sharad Sharma, a spokesman of the Ram Temple Trust told rediff.com on Tuesday morning.
However, "those who attend the programme in the morning leave later in the day while those who reach in the afternoon stay back for the following day's ritual," he added.
So, though few actually stay back, everyone gets to know of the temple construction programme.
The idea, it appears, is to ensure a massive gathering on March 15, the deadline issued by VHP for starting the construction of the Ram temple.
Now, a larger temporary township, named 'Ramsewak Puram', with all the basic facilities has been conceived, a stone's throw from the old colony, to accommodate 20,000 people.
Paramhans has told reporters in Ayodhya that the new colony would accommodate the people expected to arrive from March nine onwards.
So far, the government has no plans to prevent the gathering, which could be a threat to the law and order situation, though about 2000 additional paramilitary troops have been deployed in the town.
In 1992, the 14,000 paramilitary personnel deployed by the central government could do little even as an emotionally charged mob went on the rampage.
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