Uttar Pradesh Police have stepped up security at Moradabad’s Kanth area in the wake of BJP’s call for a mahapanchayat Friday against the removal of a loudspeaker from a temple. The party wants immediate re-installation of the loudspeaker at the temple.
The district administration has denied permission for the mahapanchayat and prohibitory orders are in force here since last Sunday when the BJP had announced to hold the mahapanchayat.
Moradabad SSP Dharamvir said police and provincial armed constabulary personnel have been deployed and elaborate security arrangements have been made to prevent any sort of gathering.
On Thursday, a meeting between two communities of Akbarpur Chendri Nayagaon village — one group led by BJP MP from Moradabad Sarvesh Kumar Singh, Sambhal MP and BJP’s Moradabad district president Satyapal Saini, and the other led by Peace Party MLA from Kanth Aneesur Rahman — failed to resolve the issue. BJP leaders did not agree to the suggestion of loudspeaker being restored at the temple after Eid.
No representative from the district administration or local police was present in the meeting.
“Hindus are adamant at restoring the loudspeaker at the temple now. We asked the Muslims to let the loudspeaker be at the temple and that it could be switched off at the times of namaz in the village but they did not agree. Their (Muslims) suggestion that loudspeaker be reinstalled after Eid was not accepted by the Hindus,” Saini told The Indian Express.
He said the denial of permission for mahapanchayat by the district administration is nothing but a “dictatorial attitude”, saying their call for a mahapanchayat stands.
Rahman said the Moradabad MP had agreed to their suggestion of restoring the loudspeaker after Ramzan and a formal compromise was signed by those present at the meeting but the MP later retracted from his stand. “We had agreed that the loudspeaker be restored after August 3 when Ramzan would end and that the construction of a mosque (which has been stopped on the complaint of Hindus) should also start from the same date. Earlier, the MP had agreed but later he went to Kanth town and said others on his side disgareed with his suggestion,” said Rahman.
BJP’s western region president Bhupendra Singh said they would hold their mahapanchayat at a ground near Kanth railway station.
Moradabad district administration had removed a loudspeaker from a temple in Akbarpur Chendri Nayagaon village on June 26 after a complaint from some villagers that there was no tradition of a loudspeaker at the temple and that it was mounted by Moradabad BJP MP. A day later, a protest was held in Kanth by Hindu groups and clashed with the police, which arrested 19 persons.
While the local market of Kanth has remained closed since then against the removal of loudspeaker, BJP has called the mahapanchayat alleging that the loudspeaker, which they said had been in place for 40 years, was removed at the behest of local MLA Rahman.