Police halted setting-up of 'Goddess English' temple: Builders

Police halted setting-up of 'Goddess English' temple: Builders

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Lucknow:  A temple dedicated to 'Goddess English' coming up in nondescript Banka village of Lakhimpur Kheri district is facing trouble with the builders of the structure alleging that the police has asked them to stop its construction.

"Local police led by Uchauliya police station in-charge today asked our workers to stop construction work by citing a Supreme court ruling that no place of worship can be installed without prior permission of the administration," Chandra Bhan Prasad, the brain behind the temple, said.

Prasad claimed that the police cited the order which is applicable on installing temple or mosque on a public property whereas this particular structure is being constructed on a private property owned by Amar Chand Jauhar, who also runs the Nalanda Public Shiksha Niketan in the campus.

Terming the move of Lakhimpur police as an attack on democratic rights of the people, Prasad threatened to move the court in case the "ban" was not lifted immediately.

"We are also trying to find out as to why the construction has been stopped as there had not been any local complaint against it," Prasad said.

"There are at least three schools, about 20 km around, which have idols of goddess Saraswati and stopping construction of a temple in another school is most unfortunate," he said.

Meanwhile, Pasgavan police station officer Ravi Srivastava denied the charges saying that there was no question of stopping construction as there is only a room which is coming up there.

As per the Supreme Court ruling which says that prior permission was required for any construction of the nature, we have taken an undertaking from the principal of the school, Shiv Shankar Nigam for the same, he added.

Amar Chand Jauhar on whose property the temple is being constructed said some four to five labourers were present at the site when the police arrived to stop the work.

The temple in Banka village, whose foundation was laid in presence of dalit intellectuals in April is being constructed with the help of funds collected from well-wishers.

The single storey structure covered with black granite, would have an over-three-feet-tall idol of 'Dalit Goddess English" installed on a pedestal in the shape of a computer holding a pen, a copy of the Indian Constitution and donning a gown and a hat.

It was set to be inaugurated on October 25 to coincide with the birth anniversary of Lord Macaulay, whose attempts at Dalit empowerment are appreciated by the community. The temple is set to be inaugurated sometime next month.

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