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January 19, 2021

Ayodhya admn issues curbs to TV channels over bhoomi pujan coverage

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The Ayodhya district administration has told news channels that litigants in the Ayodhya land dispute case should not be part of any discussions that they broadcast from the temple town during the ‘Bhumi Pujan’ for the Ram temple on August 5. 

IMAGE: Workers clean Ram Ki Pauri ahead of the foundation laying ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. Photograph: PTI Photo.

In an advisory, it also said that if channels are broadcasting a debate or programme from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh during the ground-breaking ceremony, there should be no comments against any person or religion. 

News channels have to take prior permission to hold any programme and also submit an undertaking to authorities, according to the advisory. 


“We have issued an advisory to news channels as they have to take prior permission from the magistrate for holding programmes, they will be allowed limited numbers of panelists and no public or viewers will be allowed to attend the broadcast or recording,” deputy director, information, Murli Dhar Singh, told PTI. 

He said that a magistrate and police will be deployed at the programme, and panelists and news channel staff have to strictly follow Covid-19 protocols. 

News channels have to ensure that no comments are made against any religion or person, and no parties from the Ayodhya dispute case are invited, Singh said. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the August 5 event. 

The decades-old Ram Janambhooomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case was settled by the Supreme Court last year on November 9. 

In its verdict, the court said the entire 2.77 acres of the disputed land in Ayodhya should be handed over to the deity Ram Lalla, who was one of the three litigants. 

It also directed the Centre to allot an alternative 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a “prominent” place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh. 

Ahead of the ‘Bhumi Pujan’, the Ram Mandir Trust issued an appeal to devotees, asking them not to donate silver bricks. 

It said the trust has neither the proper place to store them nor equipment and facilities to check the purity of the silver bricks. 

Devotees in large numbers are donating silver bricks for the Ram Mandir and that has created problems for the trust, over where to store and how to confirm purity, Secretary of Ram Mandir Trust Champat Rai said. 

He said that till now, more than one quintal of silver bricks and bricks of other metals have been donated to the trust. 

Rai said that if devotees want to donate, they should make monetary donations through bank deposits. 

The idol of Ram Lalla will don a new ‘Navratna’ attire on the day of the ‘Bhumi Pujan’. The dress will be fitted with nine gem stones and is being stitched in Ayodhya. Pandit Kalkiram, president of the Ramdal, will present the special costume to the idol. 

Bhagwat Pahari, the tailor stitching the dress said, “It is good luck for me that I have been given this great work, I will definitely prepare such a costume that will be historical in itself.” 

“We are stitching dresses for Ram Lalla since generations,” he said.

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