LUCKNOW: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), already in eye of storm over acts of moral policing by its vigilante group, is set to raise a fresh band of vigilantes - Dharam Yoddhas (religious fighters) -- to check instances of conversions, cow slaughter, protection of religious places under threat and love jihad.
It may be recalled that recently in Meerut, VHP workers barged into the house of a Muslim man and thrashed him for courting a Hindu girl. They allegedly intimidated the couple and took them to the police station.
Later the cops rescued the girl from the clutches of VHP workers but they also slapped the girl in the police van for befriending a Muslim. The videos of the incident had gone viral on social media early this week.
As per the sources, the top VHP brass has directed its workers down the line to identify youth who could coordinate with district authorities to keep a vigil on incidents which often lead to social disharmony. According to a senior VHP leader, the concept is to protect and preserve the Indian culture.
"The Dharm Yoddhas will be appointed to instil a feeling of nationalism in the society," he said adding that they (dharm Yoddhas) should not be perceived as violent elements.
"They will not be armed but will remain active on the ground to keep a tab on anti-social elements who disrupt social and cultural harmony," said the VHP leader.
As per the sources in VHP, the recruitment for the new army would start in October. The organization would reach out to the youth at village, block, tehsil and district levels across the country and would be entrusted responsibilities as per their area of interest.
The VHP leaders said that the idea of Yodhhas was conceptualised in the wake of upcoming Kumbh Mela in Allahabad. It's a sea of humanity which throngs the confluence of holy Ganga, Yamuna and mythological Saraswati during the mela. VHP workers are expected to take care of devotees by keeping a close vigil on anti-social elements.
Moreover, the Hindu fringe organisation has also directed its cadre to identify temples needing protection. The development comes close on the heels of VHP deciding to resume recruitment in Bajrang Dal, Durga Vahini and Matri Shakti.