Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reached Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya on Wednesday to lay the foundation of the Ram temple. The historic day will mark a closure to the 135-year religious conflict in the country over the ownership of the site.
Ceremony amidst tight security blanket
The authorities have arranged for multiple layers of security in the temple town that has been decked up for the event.
The borders of Ayodhya have been sealed. Thousands of security personnel have been deployed and 75 check posts have been put to block approach roads.
Murals, wall paintings on Lord Ram
PM Modi will be there for at least three hours in the temple town.
The locality has been decked up with 150,000 lamps, many buildings given a fresh coat of paint and murals from the epic Ramayana have been painted on walls. There will be as many as 5,100 urns decorated by local artists on the road that Modi will travel on.
Police personnel tested for COVID-19 before VVIP security deployment
“Over 300 police personnel, who are younger, fit and healthy as well as tested negative for Covid-19 infection, have already been handpicked for deployment in VVIP security,” said a senior police official on condition of anonymity.
Strict safety measures amid COVID-19 pandemic
Authorities have put in place a strict protocol that includes testing all guests, enforcing the wearing of masks and sealing the district borders so that people from outside cannot gather at the site in the town where 16 people have succumbed to the coronavirus disease and has 604 active cases.
“Everyone will wear a mask, everyone will maintain social distancing and it’s going to be fine,” Anuj Jha, the district magistrate who is also a member of the temple trust, said.
Guests tested for COVID-19
The temple trust had on Monday released the main invitation for the ceremony that listed PM Modi, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Adityanath and UP Governor Anandiben Patel as guests.
The guests were allowed entry to the venue from 10am. They had to undergo COVID-19 test before entering the venue. Rapid testing kits were used which will give result in 15 minutes. According to officials, the district health department deployed its team for carrying out the tests.
Vedic rituals started at 9 am
Vedic rituals started at Ram Janmabhoomi at around 9am on Wednesday. Before the PM’s arrival for bhoomi pujan, priests completed complete several Vedic rituals, including Maha Ganpati, Ambika pujan, Varun pujan, Shodash matrika, Sapath Grahan matrika, Ayush mantra jaap, Nav Prastar Khand Shila pujan and graha shanti puja.
PM Modi to lay 5 silver bricks
The main programme of bhoomi poojan will begin at 12:30pm and PM Modi will lay five silver bricks as the temple foundation amid the chanting of Vedic hymns at 12:40pm. Priests and religious leaders have said that the muhurat or auspicious moment will last only for 32 seconds.
Eight priests from Ayodhya, five each from Varanasi and Delhi and three from Kamikochi in Tamil Nadu are performing the rituals at Ram Janmabhoomi for the construction of the temple.
PM Modi to use 40 kg silver brick to lay the temple’s foundation
The Prime Minister will use a 40-kilogram silver brick to lay the foundation of the temple. The brick, which has been donated by Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, chairperson of the temple trust, will be removed after the ceremony. The ground-breaking ceremony will be telecast live and CCTV screens have been put across the town for residents to follow the ceremony.
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