Akhilesh Yadav govt says no to VHP’s Ayodhya yatra

The VHP's yatra,from August 25 to September 13,was scheduled to start from Ayodhya.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: August 20, 2013 12:49 am

Citing the possibility of a law and order problem,the Uttar Pradesh government on Monday denied permission for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s ‘84 kos parikrama’ around Ayodhya.

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Addressing a press conference with DGP Deo Raj Nagar,Principal Secretary (Home) R M Srivastava said the letter sent by VHP leader Ashok Singhal mentioned that the yatra was being organised to demand the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. Pointing out that the Supreme Court has ordered status quo at the site,he said it would not be proper to grant permission for such a programme.

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Srivastava said the district magistrates and superintendents of police of six districts where the yatra was to be held also apprehended a law and order problem.

On Saturday,an 11-member delegation led by VHP leader Ashok Singhal and former union minister Swami Chinmayanand Saraswati had met SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav to seek the government’s help for the yatra.

The VHP’s yatra,from August 25 to September 13,was scheduled to start from Ayodhya,covering the districts of Faizabad,Barabanki,Gonda,Ambedkar Nagar,Basti and Bahraich before concluding in Ayodhya.

Srivastava said the defined time for holding the annual yatra is from Chaitra to Baisakh according to the Hindu calendar,which was from April 25-May 20 this year.

DGP Nagar said the proposed yatra had acquired a political tone and its long route would have created law and order problems.

“The parikrama is being organised to garner support for temple construction. In the garb of 84 kos parikrama,agitations,processions and meetings will be organised in Faizabad-Ayodhya,thus creating communal tension in the area… the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case is still pending in the Supreme Court and by organising such parikrama,VHP is ignoring its sensitive nature,which is not correct as it will lead to religious disharmony,” said Faizabad District Magistrate Vipin Kumar Dwivedi in his order,denying permission for the yatra.

The DM said the annual 84 kos parikrama had already been held in April-May this year.

“We organised the traditional 84 kos parikrama as per schedule. The administration extended its support,” confirmed Mahant Gayadas,convener of the annual yatra. “The VHP people came to me and took the route map and other details of the yatra,” he added.

Meanwhile,VHP international working president Praveen Togadia accused the SP government of backtracking on its assurance to allow the yatra. “UP government prohibiting Hindu yatra at Ayodhya violates basic religious right. We condemn it. The seers will decide the future course of action,” he said.

“Both Mulayam and Akhilesh assured us that they will allow our parikrama. Now it will be held as per schedule as seers from 40 regions are coming in. Let there be lathicharge and firing,” said former MP Ram Vilas Vedanti,a Hindu seer associated with the VHP’s programme.

He alleged that the government decided not to allow the yatra under pressure from Minorities Welfare Minister Azam Khan. “We will defy their ban and restriction. We will also organise a Mahasankalp Diwas on October 18,on the banks of the Saryu river,for the construction of a Ram temple. It will be attended by one lakh people,” he said.

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