Chief lit­i­gant Bhaskar Das is dead

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - NATION HINDUSTANTIMES - Pankaj Jaiswal

LUC­KNOW: Ma­hant Bhaskar Das, the chief lit­i­gant in the Ram Janmbhoomi-babri Masjid case and the sarpanch ma­hant (chief priest) of the Nir­mohi Akhada in Ay­o­d­hya, died on Satur­day. He was 89.

With his death, both the chief lit­i­gants in the case from the Hindu and Mus­lim sides have passed away. Hashim An­sari, the old­est lit­i­gant in the case, died at the age of 95 in July 2016.

Though An­sari and Bhaskar Das were ri­val lit­i­gants, the close and cor­dial friend­ship be­tween them was fa­mous as their sta­tus of be­ing lit­i­gants.

Bhaskar Das, who was un­well for a long time, was taken to the Har­shan Heart In­sti­tute in Faiz­abad on Wed­nes­day night af­ter hav­ing se­vere breath­ing prob­lems. He breathed his last around 3 am on Satur­day.

The Nir­mohi Akhada priest had filed a claim for the Ram Janmbhoomi land’s own­er­ship in 1959. Be­sides be­ing the Akhada sarpanch, he was also ma­hant of the Naka Hanu­man Gadhi in the tem­ple town in Faiz­abad district of Ut­tar Pradesh.

His body was placed at the Naka Hanu­man Gadhi for peo­ple to pay tributes and was cre­mated on the banks of the Saryu river in Ay­o­d­hya in the evening.

Faiz­abad MP Lallu Singh, for­mer Ut­tar Pradesh Congress com­mit­tee pres­i­dent Nir­mal Kha­tri and sev­eral lo­cal lead­ers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayam­se­vak Sangh (RSS) paid homage to Das.

Ac­cord­ing to Naka Hanu­man Gadhi, Bhaskar Das was born to Bhag­wat Pathak in Ranideh vil­lage in Go­rakh­pur in 1929.

When he was around 16, Bhaskar Das joined the Naka Hanu­man Gadhi tem­ple and be­gan per­form­ing ser­vice at the tem­ple and started his re­li­gious stud­ies. In 1959, Nir­mohi Akhada’s ma­hant Raghu­nath Das filed a case claim­ing Ram Janmbhoomi. At that time, Bhaskar Das, who was in charge of rit­u­als at Ram Chabu­tra on the premises, too joined the case and filed the claim.

Af­ter the Luc­know bench of the Al­la­habad high court gave a ver­dict in the case on Septem­ber 30, 2010, Bhaskar Das filed a pe­ti­tion in Suprme Court for own­er­ship of the Ram Janmbhoomi premises. The case is still on. Af­ter Das’s demise, his dis­ci­ple ma­hant Ram Das is likely to take over as the lit­i­gant.

HT PHOTO

Peo­ple pay trib­ute to ma­hant Bhaskar Das who died in Ay­o­d­hya on Satur­day. The Nir­mohi Akhada priest had filed a claim for the Ram Janmbhoomi land’s own­er­ship in 1959.

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