VHP launches nationwide rallies to protect Ram Sethu

March 4th, 2008 - 4:50 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 4 (IANS) The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Tuesday launched rallies all over the country demanding ‘monument of national importance’ status to Ram Sethu, popularly known as the Adam’s Bridge, a chain of limestone shoals the group believes dates back to the Ramayana. “These protest marches, spread over two days, are being organised all over the country on Tuesday and Wednesday. We are protesting the union government’s affidavit in the Supreme Court in which it denied the existence of Lord Ram and the Ram Sethu,” Rajendra Singh Pankaj, national secretary of the VHP, told IANS.

Around 2,000 members of VHP’s Delhi unit took out a procession on two-wheelers and around 80 four-wheelers here Tuesday morning. The procession, which started from Ramlila grounds, culminated at Rajghat.

The gathering was addressed by office-holders of the Rameshwaram Ramsethu Raksha Manch, comprising mainly of VHP members.

“We demand an apology from the union government for giving the affidavit in the Supreme Court denying the existence of Ram. We want Ram Sethu to be declared a monument of national importance,” Pankaj said.

The Adam’s Bridge comes in the way of the controversial Sethusamudram Ship Channel Project, which proposes linking of the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka through a shipping channel.

The Hindu group opposes the project because the Ram Sethu, which they argue is sacred as it was built by Lord Ram to cross the sea to kill Ravana, would have to be drilled.

The issue is high on the Bharatiya Janata Party agenda for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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