Updated: January 20, 2021 8:47:34 am
Police detained nine Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and RSS leaders who staged a dharna Tuesday outside the office of the superintendent of Kutch (east) police in Adipur, demanding the release of nine VHP workers allegedly arrested after violence at Kidana village on Sunday.
Groups of two communities had clashed in Kidana village near Gandhidham town on Sunday evening while VHP leaders were carrying out a rath yatra to collect donations for the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
A group of VHP leaders, led by Ashok Raval, the organisation’s general secretary for Gujarat, attempted to stage a sit-in at the office of the SP on Tuesday morning.
“We detained nine persons at 11:40 am and as per instructions of the SP, we handed them to Lakadiya police station,” an officer of Adipur police station told The Indian Express.
The officer further said that they had no information till late evening as to whether the detainees being held at Lakadiya police station were released or not. “There are instructions not to allow such protests near the SP office and they were detained for sitting on dharna without permission,” the officer further said.
Besides Raval, Krunal Rupapara, Naran Dangar, Satish Bajaj, Khushal Khadke and Vrajesh Pavagadhi were among the nine detained. While Rupapara, Dangar and Bajaj are leaders of RSS, Pavagadhi is a leader of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarathi Parishad (ABVP), the students’ wing of the RSS.
BV Chudasama, police inspector of Adipur, confirmed the detentions. However, VHP leaders said that they were released from Lakadiya police station in the evening. Raval, however, claimed that police had detained 10 persons on Tuesday. “Today, ten of us VHP workers went to the SP office in Gandhidham to stage a sit-in demanding immediate release of our nine workers arrested after the Kidana village violence. However, the SP told us that we cannot stage a sit-in over there and a police team held us and detained us till evening,” Raval said.
Police said that the VHP did not have permission to take out the rath yatra on Sunday and that the violence began after the outfit’s leaders and supporters started raising religious slogans when the rath reached Masjid Chowk at Kidana.
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