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Down but not out,VHP to resume yatra today

Makhauda : VHP says sants will congregate at starting point; forces turn Basti town into a fort

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: August 26, 2013 4:38:57 am

Notwithstanding the massive crackdown by the Uttar Pradesh government and arrest of hundreds of its leaders,the VHP Sunday made it clear that it will continue with its 84-kosi parikrama yatra from Makhauda in Basti district — the place from where the programme was originally scheduled to start and end.

“Sants from Madhya Pradesh and locals will assemble at Makhauda at 9am Monday and walk 7 km to reach Rajwapur to address a public meeting and take lunch. Then,they will leave for Chhavni,9 km away,hold another public meeting there at 5 pm,then walk 3 km to reach Ramrekha,also in Basti district,” senior VHP leader Swami Chinamayananda Saraswati said.

The sants will stay the night at Ramrekha before proceeding further,Chinamayananda said,adding that while the yatra would continue in Basti,demonstrations will be held in other districts of the state under the leadership of the BJP.

Chinmayananda himself was under house arrest in Shahjahanpur.

However,District Magistrate,Basti,Anil Kumar Damele said three additional companies of security forces,including one of CRPF,has been deployed in the area and will stay there till September 13.

“The route of VHP’s parkirama covers 46-km distance in Basti and security forces have been deployed on the entire route,” the DM said.

Chinmayanand,a former Union minister,who was placed under house arrest in an ashram in Shahjahanpur said,“There is complete jungleraj in Uttar Pradesh. Criminals are moving around freely,while vigil was being maintained on respected people.”

“Sants are ready to get arrested. They will restart the yatra immediately after their release,” he said,adding the yatra will continue till September 13 when it will conclude with prayers at Makhauda after passing through Faizabad,Basti,Gonda,Ambedkar Nagar,Barabanki and Bahraich.

As per VHP’s plan,sants will move to Devkali Hanuman Mandir and Hanuman Bagh in Basti district on Tuesday and reach Ayodhya for night stay.

Later in the day,VHP spokesperson Prakash Sharma claimed that the yatra was successfully launched from Makhauda after prayers at Saryu Ghat in Ayodhya on Sunday. He claimed that VHP working president Pravin Togadia offered prayer at Saryu Ghat with several sants in the morning after which he was arrested when he started to walk towards Makhauda.

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