In a move that is likely to foment trouble in Varanasi, pro-Hindu outfit Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) has given a call to its workers from across the country to reach the temple town on August 3 and perform “Jalabhishek” at Shringar Gauri temple, located behind Gyanvapi Masjid (mosque), where performing religious rituals is restricted.
Varanasi is the parliamentary constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The ABHM office bearers claimed that the event will be part of their “Islam mukt Bharat (Islam-free India)” campaign. For the event, the ABHM has specifically chosen August 3, which is the first Monday of the upcoming month of Shravan when several lakh devotees will visit the adjoining Kashi Vishwanath temple for offering prayers.
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The ABHM has neither sought permission from Varanasi district authorities nor have they informed the officials concerned about their programme. “We do no need permission from any person or authority for offering prayers at any Hindu religious place. Our workers will perform the ‘Jalabhishek’ at Shringar Gauri, which is a temple of Goddess Parvati, and launch an agitation to free Gyanvapi area from Muslims,” said Kamlesh Tiwari, the ABHM national working president.
Tiwari claimed that remnants of damaged idols of Hindu gods are present at Shringar Gauri and near the Gyanvapi mosque. He said their programme aims to raise the demand that Gyanvapi area and Shringar Gauri temple should be handed over to Hindus.
ABHM, which is also planning to contest Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh in 2017, has provided a mobile number on social media to facilitate people in join and support the campaign. In the posters and banners prepared for the campaign, ABHM has written slogans such as: “Chalo Kashi, Islam mukt Bharat hamari zid hai, hamara adhikar hai (Proceed to Kashi, Islam-free India is our right) “, “Kashi Vishwanath me namaz nahin, ab ghoonjega kewal Om Namah Shivay (Only Om Naha Shivay, not namaz, will reverberate in Kashi Vishwanath)”, “Hindu Mahasabha 3 August ko Prachin Garbhgrah me viraje bhole nath ka jalabhishek karegi. Atah sachchey Hindu jalabhishek me hissa lene kashi pahunchen (Hindu Mahasabha will perform jalabhishek on August 3 and all Hindus should reach there)”, and “Hindutva jai maan bharti, khoon se tilak karo, goliyon se aarti,” and “Ayodhya hui hamari hai, ab kashi ki baari hai”.
“ABHM has issued an appeal to masses and workers to reach Varanasi and take a pledge for getting the mosque removed from the area of Kashi Vishwanath temple,” Tiwari said.
Superintendent of police (security), Kashi Vishwanth temple, Arun Kumar Pandey told The Indian Express that entry to Shringar Gauri is prohibited and people are not allowed to perform any ritual there. Pandey said that only CRPF personnel camp near Shringar Gauri.
“No information has been received from any organisation for holding any programme at Shringar Gauri. If ABHM will seek permission, it will be certainly denied,” Pandey said.