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Jharkhand: VHP says BJP govt targeting its workers, threatens state-wide agitation.
Prashant Pandy in IE | Ranchi | February 2, 2016:: Crying foul over what it alleged was targeting of its workers by the state, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has threatened to stage an agitation at all the district headquarters if there was no positive response from the BJP government on the matter. The right-wing Hindu outfit has alleged that over 400 workers have either been booked or jailed under non-bailable sections in around 50 such cases across 11 districts within the past one year. These cases pertain to clashes, skirmishes with other groups over religious issues. Most of them were over local affairs.
The outfit has already staged a sit-in protest outside the Governor’s house, along with Bajrang Dal, on Monday and handed over a memorandum to the Governor over the same.
VHP’s Kshetra Mantri (Bihar-Jharkhand) Rajendra Ji said: “The government is unnecessarily foisting case against members of the Hindu community. We are finding it difficult to understand why it is happening. The police have foisted cases – that too under serious sections – in instances when the aggressors were from the other side. There is a pattern. A case of some attack or unprovoked fighting from the other side; we intervene. The police reach the spot, control the situation. Within a couple of days, there is cross case and our people are booked under serious sections. We have tried to get in touch with the government, but it has not responded. We will start agitation at all district headquarters if there is no response within a week.”
Citing some examples, VHP official-bearers pointed out that, recently, some Hindu boys returning from a picnic got involved in an argument and traded blows with Muslim boys in Chakradharpur locality in Chaibasa district.
“The attack was from the other side. But the police later booked virtually the entire district committee of the VHP, including its president. And when the BJP MP of the area tried to take up their case, the administration simply refused to talk to him,” said VHP’s Jharkhand Prant Mantri Ganga Singh Yadav. Asked about the sections invoked, Yadav said: “I can say they are non-bailable. It would not be easy for them to come out before four-five months.” There have been many such incidents, including one in Dhanbad, he added.
In some cases, he alleged, workers were booked or arrested even when they were not present at the spot. “Our argument is that, at least, ascertain the presence of the workers on any spot before booking them. I don’t know under whose guidance this government is working. My personal opinion is that the government is taking the path of appeasement,” he said. However, he added that the VHP would continue to intervene and raise its voice whenever “Hindu interests” are under attack.
Another VHP activist added: “We are the ones who take up cudgels on behalf of the Hindu community. There are cases of love jihad, or a temple is attacked, or when meat is found in temples. But the police go soft on the other community, while we are booked under serious charges. We are protesting against the same.”
It may be recalled that over 40 VHP workers and leaders were booked following tension in Doranda locality of Ranchi on September 25, 2015. The situation had become tense as meat was discovered near temples in the Muslim-dominated locality. The VHP, in the past one year, has come up with demands like banning sale of beef and cow-slaughter in the state, besides intervening in alleged cases of love jihad, the most famous case being that of Tara Shahdev. It has also been demanding complete ban on conversion.
A BJP leader, requesting anonymity, said: “Nobody stops them from raising their voice. But, the moment they take law and order into their hands, the state machinery will get active. Why would administration officials risk being punished for not acting in a balanced and tough manner? As far as opposing the government is concerned, sometimes even our units stage protest.”
Courtesy: Indian Express.