Wants to use funds offered by devotees to build corridor at Banke Bihari temple: UP govt tells HC

The Uttar Pradesh government on Wednesday told the Allahabad High Court that it wants to construct a corridor for Banke Bihari temple in Vrindavan using the funds offered by devotees to the deity, but will not interfere in the temple’s management by the priests’ family.

The state government made the submissions before a two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Pritinkar Diwakar and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava which was hearing a PIL filed by Anand Sharma and another person of Mathura seeking an inquiry into a stampede in the temple in August last year.

The bench fixed October 30 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the Goswami (priest) family opposed the government’s submission that it would use the funds offered by devotees to construct the corridor.

On this, the government’s counsel told the court that it will not interfere in the working of the priests’ family that manages the affairs of Banke Bihari temple.

The court reserved its order on an impleadment application by the Goswami family.

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Two devotees were killed and seven injured in a stampede at the Bankey Bihari temple during Janmashtami celebrations in August last year.

In October last year, the state government informed the high court that it is planning to construct a corridor after acquiring five acres of land adjacent to Banke Bihari Temple in Mathura to give facilities to pilgrims.

The court had asked the state government to clear its stand regarding management of pilgrims visiting the temple at Vrindavan, Mathura.

Later, an impleadment application was moved by the Goswami family objecting to the plan, saying that it’s a private temple and no interference is required by the government. 

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