Provide all facilities to Ayodhya pilgrims, says SC

New Delhi, (IANS) The Supreme Court on Friday asked the central and Uttar Pradesh governments to make available whatever facilities that could be extended to pilgrims going to Ayodhya to offer prayers at the makeshift Ramlala temple on the disputed Babri Masjid-Rama Janmabhoomi site.

A bench of Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Kurian Joseph asked both governments to do whatever was necessary even as Uttar Pradesh government said that all the facilities were being made available to the pilgrims and none of them were aggrieved.

“The prayer is for some facilities. If you can make these available, then do it. If possible to do something, do it,” Justice Dave told the counsel representing the governments.

In response, Uttar Pradesh Advocate General V.B. Singh said: “We have seen everything. No one pilgrim is aggrieved. Only the petitioner (BJP leader Subramanian Swamy) is aggrieved.”

Swamy told the court that he was seeking the upkeep of the place and some facilities for the pilgrims. He also informed the court that he was asked by it to prepare a list of facilities that are needed by the pilgrims going to Ayodhya.

The Bharatiya Janata Party leader had sought the court’s intervention saying that thousands of pilgrims going to Ayodhya were not being provided with basic amenities and facilities like drinking water, toilets, cloak rooms and bathing facilities even though they make payment and there was a huge corpus of money.

The court has been told that pilgrims were walking four km holding their foot wear in their hands to have the ‘darshan’ of the deity and had sought the relaxation of “overzealous oppressive restrictions”.

Swamy has also sought the enforcement of “each and every” February 23, 1996 direction of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court which includes arrangements for proper parking of the vehicles and free movement of the pilgrims till they reach the pathway leading directly to the improvised platform where the idol is installed.



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