Hindu Activists Threaten Mass Self-Immolation If 250-Year-Old Temple Shifted From Railway Station

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Flame  - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.04.2022
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On Friday, Hindu activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal held prayers and recited several shlokas outside the North Central Railway Agra division office in protest of the railway authority notice.
Hindu activists in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have threatened to commit mass self-immolation if the 250-year-old Hindu Goddess Chamunda Devi Temple is shifted from Raja Mandi railway station elsewhere.
The railway department issued a notice to the temple authority to shift the temple as it is obstructing the passengers. The authorities have also issued a similar notice to the mosque built at another railway station in Agra.
"We have issued notice to several religious structures built on Indian railway land in Agra district. The notice issued to the temple and mosque is part of the anti-encroachment drive in compliance with the order of the Supreme Court of India", Railways public relations officer Prashasti Srivastava told Indian news agency PTI.
The temple authority has been asked to submit all the documents by 13 May, Srivastava further stated.
The head of temple authority, Mahant Virendra Anand, told the Indian news channel India Today, "This temple is 300 years old. We will die, but no one will be able to move even one brick of this temple."
"The railway people know nothing. If you'll notice, the railway track here is on a curved path which clearly shows that track came into existence after the temple was built here. Then, how can you claim we encroached on railways land?" Mahant Anand added.
"We will immolate ourselves at the station premises if the Indian Railways does not withdraw its decision," said Govind Parashar, national president of the Rashtriya Hindu Parishad Bharat.
After the threat from Hindu groups, Srivastava said that her department would try to hold talks with different stakeholders on the matter. The temple needs to be shifted as the passengers are facing a lot of trouble because of it, Srivastava said.
"However, if the temple is not allowed to shift, we may have to permanently close the Raja Mandi railway station," Srivastava added.
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