Days after communal violence in Haryana, Hindu outfits announce resumption of VHP yatra on Aug 28

Mahapanchayat decides to resume yatra in Haryana’s Nuh on Aug 28
People attend a 'Mahapanchayat' called by Hindu outfits, at Pondri village in Palwal District. (Photo | PTI)
People attend a 'Mahapanchayat' called by Hindu outfits, at Pondri village in Palwal District. (Photo | PTI)

CHANDIGARH:  A ‘mahapanchayat’ called by Hindu outfits in Haryana’s Palwal on Sunday decided to resume the Vishva Hindu Parishad-led Brij Mandal Jalabhishek Yatra, which was abruptly halted due to the communal violence in Nuh district, on August 28. 

Sources said the yatra will resume from Nalhar in Nuh and then pass through Firozepur Jhirka’s Jhir and Singar temples in the district. Mahapanchayat is a gathering of people from 10-12 villages.

Around 1,500 people attended the meeting on Sunday. Urging Hindu youth to take up arms for self-defence, the mahapanchayat demanded that the government relax arms licence norms.

It also raised several other demands, including a probe by the National Investigation Agency into the attack on the VHP yatra and declaring the violence-hit Nuh a cow slaughter-free district.

There were also calls for merging the Muslim-dominated Nuh with the adjoining districts of Gurugram, Palwal and Faridabad and trial of all the accused outside the Nuh district.

Speaking at the meet, Acharya Azad Shashtri, head of Haryana Gau Rakshak Dal, said: "It is a do-or-die situation. Don’t be scared of cases."

"We should immediately ensure getting a licence of 100 rifles in Mewat," he said.

The mahapanchayat lauded the Haryana government’s illegal demolition drive but said it was not enough and that rioters should be made to pay for the damages caused. 

The mahapanchayat also made several demands, which included an NIA probe into the attack on the VHP yatra in Nuh on July 31 and declaring Nuh a cow slaughter-free district.

Among the other demands were Rs 1 crore each to the kin of those killed in the communal clashes, Rs 50 lakh to those injured and 100 per cent compensation to the owners of vehicles, shops and houses damaged. 

The mahapanchayat was held under the banner of ‘Sarv Hindu Samaj’, in which several Hindu outfits, including the Vishva Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, took part. It was originally planned to be held in Nuh district’s Kira village but permission was denied for it in view of the prevailing law and order situation. Palwal and Nuh are adjoining districts.

Superintendent of Police of Palwal Lokender Singh said the permission for mahapanchayat was granted on several conditions, including the prohibition on hate speech.

In the mahapanchayat, Bharat Bhushan, state convener of Bajrang Dal; Anurag Kulshrestha, social media head of VHP; BJP's Sohna MLA Sanjay Singh, former Palwal MLA Subhash Chowdhary, Nuh BJP former district president Surender Arya and officials of the VHP, Bajrang Dal and other Hindu outfits were present.

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