New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for arresting VHP leaders ahead of a religious event.
BJP spokesman Bizay Sonkar Shastri said the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists and religious leaders wanted to carry out the “84 kosi parikrama yatra” and it was their fundamental right to do so.
“The Samajwadi Party government … wants to give out a message that it is a messiah of Muslims,” Shastri told IANS. He said the decision to ban the yatra and arrest VHP leaders had created needless tension in Uttar Pradesh.
Party vice-president Uma Bharti demanded that the yatra should be allowed to proceed and said it was the right time to resolve the Ayodha dispute.
Bharti told reporters here that though the judgment of the Allahabad high court on the Ramjanmaboomi-Babri mosque dispute had been challenged in the Supreme Court, it had spoken about the place being associated with Lord Ram.
“It is a very good time that solution is found to the Ram Mandir issue,” she said.
Bharti also accused the Akhilesh Yadav government of practising vote-bank politics and creating hype around the “yatra”.
“Samajwadi Party is an expert in turning everything into vote bank politics. They turned the case of Durga Shakti Nagpal (IAS officer suspended by the state government) into vote bank politics saying she was responsible for demolition of a mosque wall. This is such a party that definitely resorts to vote bank politics, notwithstanding criticism,” Bharti said.
She said questions should not be asked about the timing of the “yatra” as “it was the prerogative of saints”.
“Proper arrangements should be made for conduct of ‘yatra’,” she said.
VHP leaders were Sunday arrested in the temple town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh as they tried to proceed for “Saryu Pujan”, ahead of the “84 kosi parikrama yatra”.
The government had earlier banned the “yatra”, set to begin from the banks of the Saryu river. The VHP had said the “yatra” would pass through Barabanki, Faizabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Gonda, Basti and Bahraich districts.
Earlier, the Uttar Pradesh government put in place a massive security build-up across the state to foil a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) bid to stage a religious event in Ayodhya Sunday. The Hindu group’s leaders announced a national stir against the crackdown.
While hundreds of VHP activists and seers were arrested from different parts of the state for trying to carry out the “84 kosi parikrama yatra”, VHP’s top leaders were detained in Lucknow and Ayodhya.
Home department officials told IANS the situation was peaceful across the state.
Almost 1,700 people were detained for breaching prohibitory orders, the officials said.
Meanwhile, the state home department said that in all 1,696 people were arrested across the state for breaking prohibitory orders and trying to move to Ayodhya. The Aug 25-Sep 13 “yatra” seeks to construct a Ram temple at the site of the razed Babri mosque in Ayodhya.