Despite its claims,the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) could not revive its 84-kosi parkirama from Makhauda in Basti district on Monday.
The yatra could not originate from Makhauda Sunday as planned due to arrest of leaders of VHP and BJP and sants at different places. It was,however,symbolically launched from a temple at Mani Ram ki Chhavni with the VHP claming that the yatra would be resumed from Makhauda Monday morning.
Sants from Bhopal and Gwalior of Madhya Pradesh had to reach Makhauda at 9 am and offer prayer in the local temple and start the parikrama. They had to walk 7 km to reach Rajwapur to address a public meeting. Further,they had to leave for Chhavni and hold another public meeting there at 5 pm. Sants had to be in Ramrekha for the night stay.
Priest of Makhauda temple Suraj Das told The Indian Express: No sant reached here to start the parikrama. There is heavy deployment of security forces in and around Makhauda.
However,VHP margdarshak mandal member Swami Chinmayananda Saraswati claimed that 40 sants continued parikrama near Makhauda.
I am not sure whether sants of Madhya Pradesh reached there or not,but 40 sants participated in the yatra today. Parkirama will continue as per the schedule and sants will take out yatra everyday from any place, Chinmayananda said.
Basti District Magistrate Anil Kumar Damele said no sant reached Makhauda to start the parikrama because of heavy security arrangements. Eight persons of the BJP were arrested near Rajwapur where the yatra had to reach from Makhauda. There was no parkirama at Ramrekha either, DM said.
As per VHPs plan,the next destination of the yatra is Devkali Hanuman Mandir and Hanuman Bagh in Basti district.
As VHPs yatra is scheduled to move in Basti district till Tuesday,security arrangements will be in place till that time, the DM said. He said security arrangements have not affected normal life in the district.
Most leaders of the VHP and BJP in Basti and adjoining districts were either under arrest or had switched off their mobile phones so that their location cannot be tracked. Local leaders who were available on the phone could not confirm if the yatra had started from Makhauda.