Ayodhya case chief litigant Bhaskar Das passes away at 89
LUCKNOW : Chief litigant in the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid case and sarpanch mahant (chief priest) of the Nirmohi Akhada in Ayodhya Mahant Bhaskar Das 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 cordial friendship between them was as famous as their status of being litigants.
Bhaskar Das, who was unwell for a long time, was taken to 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 chief priest had filed a claim for the Ramjanmboomi land’s ownership in 1959.
Apart from being the Nirmohi Akhada sarpanch, he was also the 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 UP 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 in Ranideh village in Gorakhpur in 1929. When he was around 16, Das joined the Naka Hanuman Gadhi temple and began performing service pursuing 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, Das filed a petition in the Suprme Court for ownership of the entire Ram Janmbhoomi premises. The case is still going on, and now after Das’s demise, his disciple mahant Ram Das is likely to take over as the litigant.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath expressed grief over the mahant’s death.
GORAKHPUR : The chief priest of Nirmohi Akhada and litigant in Ram Janma bhoomi Babri Masjid case Mahant Bhaskar Das who passed away on Saturday was a native of Rani Dih village of Khajni village in Gorakhpur.
After becoming head of Nirmohi Akhada he used to visit his ancestral village regularly.
A staunch devotee of Lord Ram since his childhood, Mahant Bhaskar Das decided to take sanyas while pursuing studies at Sanskrit Vidyalaya in Harpur Badhat. He also had good relation with Mahant Digvijaynath, former temple chief of Gorakhnath temple. His nephew Madan Pathak, who still lives in the village, said at 16 years Bhaskar Das left home in 1946 for Hanumangarhi temple in Ayodhya. “Whenever he used to visit village he would tell children stories of Ramayan and asked them to follow in the footprints of Lord Ram in their life,” said Pathak.
Another resident of Rani Dih village Ram Niwas, 70, told HT, “He wished to see the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and whenever he visited the village he would tell people that soon the temple would come up in the holy city.”
Whenever he used to visit village he would tell children stories of Ramayan and asked them to follow in the footprints of Lord Ram in their life MADAN PATHAK, nephew of Mahant Digvijaynath