Various Hindu organisations and groups in Jamnagar,supported by leading political parties,have decided to hit the streets to protest against the local police for booking 37 persons under the Arms Act for displaying swords during a procession on Mahashivratri a week ago.
They are demanding withdrawal of the complaint while contending that display of weapons like sword in such processions is an old religious tradition. And to press home their demand,bodies like Hindu Utsav Samiti,Mahadev Har Mitra Mandal and various chambers of commerce and industry began an agitation with Ramdhun at Lakhota Lake on Sunday.
Both the Congress and the BJP have extended support to the agitation,which will be followed by a silent rally on Monday.
A Hindu Utsav Samiti leader said they have made two representations to District Collector Sandeep Kumar and Superintendent of Police Subhas Trivedi to withdraw the complaint or file a c summary (close the case). We made representations to the local authorities as the case for carrying swords in the procession has hurt religious sentiments of the public. But there was no response from the administration, said the Samiti leader.
The case should be withdrawn immediately, said former Law Minister and Jamnagar Congress leader M K Bloch,adding,Every religion and sects has its own traditions to mark celebrations. It cannot be considered an offence.
The BJP has maintained that taking out processions on Mahashivratri is a 30-year-old tradition and just a way to offer prayers. Party leaders said the decision to launch an agitation was taken after repeated efforts to convince the authorities to withdraw the case went in vain.