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Priest, 16 cops, part of Ayodhya Ram temple event next week, test positive for Coronavirus

Acharya Pradeep Das is the assistant to the chief priest of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple and will be part of the religious ceremony scheduled to be held on August 5, an event which is also expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

SNS | New Delhi |

A priest of Ayodhya’s Ram temple, who is part of the ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony next week, has tested positive for novel Coronavirus.

Acharya Pradeep Das is the assistant to the chief priest of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple and will be part of the religious ceremony scheduled to be held on August 5, an event which is also expected to be attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Besides, 16 policemen on duty at Ayodhya have also tested positive for COVID-19.

Besides the PM, about 200 guests are also expected to attend the event.

The Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has invited PM Modi to lay the foundation stone of the temple.

However, no official announcement has yet followed from the PMO.

Last Saturday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath had visited the Ram Janmabhoomi complex to review preparations for the August 5 event.

Photos and videos from the day show the Coronavirus-positive priest Pradeep Das standing next to the Chief Minister during a ritual.

The Ram Janmabhoomi chief priest, Acharya Satyendra Das, who will lead the August 5 ceremony, was also seen standing next to the men.

Meanwhile, Trust sources quoted by IANS have said that the programme will go ahead as planned, maintaining all the safety rules for Coronavirus.

Ayodhya, at present, has 375 active cases of coronavirus while Uttar Pradesh has 29,997 cases.

Meanwhile, the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust has appealed to followers of Lord Ram not to rush to Ayodhya for the ‘bhoomi pujan’ ceremony of Ram temple construction.

The trust has appealed to the followers to watch the ceremony on television and light a lamp in the evening to mark the occasion.

The trust said huge gatherings and participation in massive numbers would not be possible during the Corona pandemic.

The rituals for the ‘bhoomi pujan’ will begin on August 3 with a ‘Ganesh Gauri Puja’.

The trust has decided that the proposed Ram temple in Ayodhya would have a height of 161 feet along with five domes. The temple would be modelled on the basis of the design proposed by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad but its length, width, and height will be increased.

It would take around 3 and a half years to complete the construction of the temple.

The construction work has been delayed due to the Coronavirus-triggered lockdown and other issues.