As many as 15,000 cheques amounting to Rs 22 crore that were collected as donations for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya have bounced. These cheques were collected by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other affiliated outfits. The matter came to light during an audit report by the 'Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra' trust that was setup by the government.
The trust officials said in the audit report that these cheques bounced either due to insufficient funds in the accounts or other technical issues such as overwriting and mismatch of signatures.
Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust member Dr Anil Mishra said that the body is working with banks to rectify the errors. Individuals whose cheques bounced will be given an opportunity by the banks to rectify the errors, he said.
Govinddev Giri, treasurer of the trust, said that out of the 15,000 bounced cheques, 2,000 were collected from Ayodhya while the rest came in from different parts of the country. "We are sending the bounced cheques back and appeal to those people to issue fresh ones," he said.
The VHP and other affiliated outfits organised a collection drive between January 15 and February 17 seeking donations for the construction of the Ram temple. Rs 2,500 crore were reportedly collected during the donation drive, although that claim has not been ascertained.
VHP working president had earlier said that the Ram temple will be completed by 2024. "We are focused on the Ayodhya at present. We have received donations for it (the Ram temple) from across the country. The temple will be completed by 2024. We will not consider Kashi and Mathura till then," he had said in an interview. He said that the VHP will not take up any other issue such as disputed Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex till 2024. He said that they expect to install Ram lalla by then.