The Vadodara Police have booked members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad for brandishing swords and daggers at a rally to mark the 50 years of the saffron organization in the city.
Members partaking in the rally passed through communally sensitive areas at at least two points in the city, wielding swords and holding banners with the message: “Yachna nahi Rann hoga”. With the dates for the bypolls of the Vadodara Parliamentary Constituency already declared and the Model Code of Conduct in place, VHP members violated the rules by carrying weapons.
The rally, comprising of countless motorbikes and cars packed with VHP supporters displaying saffron flags of the organization, passed through the busy market streets of the city, crossing communally sensitive areas on their way.
The members held placards that read, “Yachna Nahi Rann hoga, yudhh mahabheeshan hoga”, and chanted Jai Shri Ram. The policemen deployed to monitor the rally stood mute spectators as the group flaunted their weapons and broke into tandav jigs on the road.
The rally began at the VHP’s Vadodara base in Salatwada area and proceeded to Kothi, Raopura, Amdavadi Pol, Navabazar, Bajwada, Champaner Darwaza, Mandvi, Nyay Mandir and Khanderao Market before concluding at its point of origin, thus covering a four kilometer stretch, including communally sensitive pockets.
Although the organization had acquired permission from the police to hold its rally, coinciding with the festival of Krishna Janmashtmi, cops say no religious or political outfit can be allowed to flaunt weapons during the MCC being in force.
When contacted, Commissioner of Police E Radhakrishnan, who took charge from his predecessor Satish Sharma on Saturday said, “Although we had granted the permission to the VHP for a rally, they have violated the notification that is in place for the bypolls under the Code of Conduct. Our officers have booked members of the organization under Section 135 of the Gujarat Police Act for disobeying the order of the law in force.”
BJP leaders Prabhat Jha, Shahnawaz Hussain and Krishnapal Gujar also addressed a number of rallies.