Nritya Gopal Das, the Chairman of Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, has tested positive for coronavirus. He was on the stage at the August 5 'bhoomi pujan' (ground breaking) ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was also present. 82-year-old Nritya Gopal Das is currently in Mathura, where he had gone for the Janamashtami celebrations.
“Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has taken details of the health status of Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, who has tested coronavirus positive. He has spoken to District Magistrate Mathura and to Dr Trehan of Medanta and requested immediate medical attention for him at the hospital,” Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister's Office said in a statement.
During the ground breaking ceremony of the Ram temple on August 5, along with Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust head Nritya Gopal Das, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat were also present on the dais. Visuals from the August 5 event had shown that Nritya Gopal Das was not wearing a mask on the stage.
Mahant Nitya Gopaldas tested positive for COVID-19.— Amandeep Singh (@singhaman1904) August 13, 2020
Prime Minister @narendramodi met him not following 'Do gaaj ki Doori' at the #RamMandirBhumiPujan Event. @myogiadityanath #mohanbhagwat pic.twitter.com/hmH31vJG6J
"Mahant Nitya Gopal Das Ji's condition is stable. He is being shifted to Medanta Hospital in Gurugram," SR Mishra, District Magistrate, Mathura told ANI.
Nritya Gopal Das has played a major role in the BJP’s Ram Mandir movement. He belongs to a Brahmin family from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh. He has reportedly constructed multiple temples in Ayodhya. He is also the head of the largest temple in Ayodhya', the Mani Ram Das Ki Chhawani. He took over as the chairman of the Ram Janmabhoomi trust in 2003.
On August 5, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the Shree Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir, following the mandate of Supreme Court on the demolished site of Babri Masjid. Due to the prevailing COVID-19 situation, the total number of participants was limited to 175 people.
On November 9, 2019, the Supreme Court settled the fractious issue going back more than a century and backed the construction of a Ram temple by a trust at the disputed site. It also ruled that an alternative five-acre plot must be found for a mosque in the Hindu holy town
Delivering a unanimous judgement on a case that had long polarised the country, the court said the faith of the Hindus that Lord Ram was born at the site was undisputed.
The Ram Janmabhoomi movement got a fillip in 1990 with then BJP president L K Advani's 'rath yatra'. Two years later, in December 1992, the 16th century Mughal-era Babri Masjid, built on what a large sections believe is Lord Ram's birthplace, was demolished.
With PTI inputs