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On Hill Linked To ‘Lord Ram’s Pledge’ In Madhya Pradesh, Mining Plan Dropped After Outrage

On Hill Linked To 'Lord Ram's Pledge' In Madhya Pradesh, Mining Plan Dropped After Outrage

“Siddha Pahad is a centre of our faith and reverence,” said Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan. (File)

Bhopal:

No mining will be allowed on the hill where Lord Ram is believed to have taken a pledge to kill demons, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has declared. A huge controversy began after the Satna district administration scheduled a public hearing for September 30 — mandatory under environment laws — for a nod to mining Siddha Pahad.

While geologists expected to find bauxite and other minerals, ‘Aranya Kand’ of Hindu epic ‘Ramcharitmanas’ says hills in the region have skeletons of seers killed by demons; and this is where Lord Ram, during his exile of 14 years, resolved to kill all demons.

The mining plan led to a disquiet within the ruling BJP too, besides jibes from the Congress, which today said “truth has won” and “the government has accepted its mistake” after former chief minister Kamal Nath warned of protests.

Chief Minister Chouhan’s statement read: “Siddha Pahad in Satna is a centre of our faith and reverence. The sanctity of this place will be kept intact. Mining here will not take place at any cost. Instructions have been issued to the district administration.” He tweeted it, too, in Hindi.

The hill is on the long-proposed ‘Ram Van Gaman Path’, a religious-tourism circuit that would trace what’s considered Lord Ram’s time in the forests. 

The state government recently sought Rs 500 crore from the central government for it.

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The region has several hills with religious significance.

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Trucks near the hill before a decision was taken on mining it.

When the state pollution control board in Satna issued the advertisement for a pre-mining public hearing recently, Kamal Nath said, “After playing politics in the name of Lord Ram, the BJP is now working in a well-planned manner to destroy remains related to Him.”

BJP MLA Narayan Tripathi too wrote to Shivraj Chouhan.

“I contacted your office to seek a meeting with you to discuss this urgent issue, but couldn’t get the time from there,” he said, “I request you to order a stop on allowing mining on the hill and also declare entire religious circuit related to Lord Ram’s life in Chitrakoot as ‘No Mining Zone’.”

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Faith says this region is where Lord Ram spent his exile.

He added, “Otherwise, I’ll march along with local residents from Sarbhanga Ashram to Siddha Pahad.”

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