Keeping the Kanth temple row alive

VHP leader plans ritual at temple from where loudspeaker was removed.

Written by Mohd Faisal Fareed | Lucknow | Published: July 24, 2014 4:12:42 am
The temple at the centre of the row The temple at the centre of the row

In an apparent bid to push for re-installation of a loudspeaker removed from a temple at Kanth in Moradabad — an issue that turned communal recently leading to violent clashes on July 4 — a Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) wing has decided to conduct a ‘jal-abhishek’ programme at the same temple.

The UP chief of Sadhvi Shakti Parishad, Sadhvi Dr Prachi, said she will proceed for ‘Jal-abhishek’ on Shivratri (Shravan) that falls on July 25, at the temple in Akbarpur Chaderi village.

Sadhvi Dr Prachi, who is on maunvrat at her Hardwar ashram, is out on bail in a case related to her alleged role in the Muzaffarnagar riots. She had unsuccessfully contested the 2012 Assembly elections on BJP ticket from Purqazi (reserved) Assembly seat in Muzaffarnagar and had finished fourth.

“‘Jal-abhishek’ will be done peacefully. One cannot be stopped from offering jal on Shivratri,” Sunil Mishra, secretary, Sadhvi Dr Prachi, said.

Mishra claimed police officers from Moradabad had contacted him for deferring the programme.

“We just want that the loudspeaker be installed at the temple and Hindus be allowed to perform their rituals,” Mishra said.

Sadhvi Dr Prachi has, however, not approached the district administration seeking permission to perform ‘Jal-abhishek’.

“We have not received any request from anyone for such a programme. All steps will be taken to maintain law and order,” Moradabad District Magistrate Deepak Aggrawal said.

Meanwhile, the BJP denied any role in the ‘jal-abhishek’ programme.  The party is going ahead with another programme of massive protest and lodging an FIR against police officials in Moradabad on June 26 — a day after Sadhvi Dr Prachi’s programme.

“Our leaders of western region, including 14 MPs but excluding union ministers, will lodge an FIR against Moradabad SSP Dharamveer Yadav for misbehaving with our workers during the agitation on Kanth incident. It will be done on June 26,” State spokesperson of BJP Vijay Bahadur Pathak said.

“Our protest is against officials in Kanth who had misbehaved against our workers,” Pathak said.

“Section 144 is imposed there. Any programme held without permission will be illegal,” DM Aggrawal said.

Meanwhile, the Samajwadi Party blamed the BJP for instigating communal violence in the state after the Muzaffarnagar violence. “BJP is desperate after locals foiled its attempt to vitiate communal atmosphere,” SP spokesperson Rajendra Choudhary said.

Earlier, the incident of removal of a loudspeaker from a temple in Kanth had resulted in communal tension and later BJP workers had fought a pitched battle with administration resulting in the injury of then DM of Moradabad.

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