HARIDWAR: Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth, Swaroopanand Saraswati, has released a book by a retired IPS officer, which claims that the Ram Temple was demolished by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. The book’s claim is a departure from the stand taken by the Hindu right wing organisation, which say that the temple was demolished by Mughal emperor Babur.

After the release of the book, Saraswati described it as a “historical work” and said, “It will go a long way in removing misconceptions people have regarding the structure.” “The book is an attempt to prove that a Ram Temple existed in Ayodhya till 1600. It was demolished by Aurangzeb and a mosque was built in its place and named after Babar,” the writer said.

The writer says that “until the British takeover of Ayodhya administration in 1558, both the Hindus and Muslims used to perform puja and offer namaz respectively inside it.”

The Shankaracharya recently said that it was not good for women to go for prayer in Shani temples. In another controversial statement, Saraswati had recently said that the 2013 flash floods in Kedarnath were caused by the “unholy things done by honeymooners and picnickers.”

Endorsing the author’s stand, former chief justice of India G B Patnaik in his foreword in the book, says that it has been established in the book that the mosque was built “during the reign of Aurangzeb sometime in 1660 and Babur had no role to play.”