Agra: Protests As Rail Serves Notice Against Temple for Encroaching on Platform

"Railways will consider closing down Raja Ki Mandi railway station for passengers" DRM Anand Swaroop added.

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After people in Agra agitated against a railway notice served to Chamunda Devi temple, a portion of which encroaches a platform on the Raja Ki Mandi station, the city's Divisional Railway Manager (DRM) on Thursday, 28 April, said that the department will consider closing down the station for passengers.

"Railways will consider closing down Raja Ki Mandi railway station for passengers if there is any hurdle in removing the unauthorised religious structure," DRM Anand Swaroop told reporters in Agra.

He added that the authorities "want a respectable solution keeping safety and religious sentiments in mind."

"We will hold talks with different stakeholders," news agency ANI quoted Swaroop as saying.

Last week, the Indian Railways had issued a notice to the priest of Chamunda Devi temple indicating that the structure is built on unauthorised land, and if not removed, the railway station will have to be closed in view of safety of passengers.

The Protest

In light of the notice, members of Hindu outfits sloganeered against railway authorities, saying that they will not tolerate their 'dictatorship'.

A protester stated,

“Are our Hindu brothers wearing bangles? Should our temples be demolished like this? Please share this video widely that it reaches Chief minister Yogi Adityanath. If the temple is demolished, Hindus will bring everything down brick by brick and stage a massive protest."

The demonstrating members have also reportedly informed senior leaders of Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal about the situation.


What the DRM Said

Meanwhile, the DRM explained that vacating the encroachment is a priority as it violates the schedule of dimensions of the railway.

"The platform number one's area is around 1700 square meters, the area in which the temple building is built is 600 square meters. Its area of 72 square meters has been constructed on platform number one, which violates the schedule of dimensions of the railway, and is inappropriate from the point of view of security."

He added further that one of the biggest hindrances due to the temple structure is the speed of the trains on Delhi-Agra route.

The notice, too, notes that the Raja ki Mandi station has to be expanded to increase the speed of trains.

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