VHP yatra on in Nuh despite ban

Security at inter-state and inter-district borders has also been tightened

Update: 2023-08-27 14:41 GMT
Security personnel stand guard after Haryana Roadways resumed services from the violence-hit Nuh district, Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2023. (PTI Photo)

New Delhi: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Sarv Jatiya Hindu Mahapanchayat have decided to go ahead with their proposed “Shobha Yatra” in Haryana’s Nuh on Monday, despite the administration having denied permission for the religious procession. VHP general secretary Surendra Jain claimed that permission was not required for a religious procession. The district administration, however, has denied permission, citing a meeting of the G20 Sherpa Group in Nuh from September 3 to 7, and to maintain law and order in the aftermath of the violence which broke out during a VHP yatra on July 31. The security arrangements have been stepped up in the area and no outsider will be allowed to enter Nuh as all entry points to the district have been sealed. However, traffic on the KMP and Delhi-Mumbai expressway will continue.

The Haryana government has also decided to seal its borders with the neighbouring states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh and deployment of the police has been stepped up around the religious places of both the communities.

Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar suggested, meanwhile, that people should offer holy water and prayers at the Shiva temples in their neighbourhood instead of holding any procession in view of communal clashes. Khattar said in Panchkula: “Instead of the yatra, people can visit temples in their areas for ‘jalabhishek’.” He asserted that it was the state government's responsibility to maintain law and order. August 28 is the last Monday of the holy month of Shravan.

Security personnel, including those from the paramilitary forces, have been deployed to keep strict vigil. Security at inter-state and inter-district borders has also been tightened. Haryana DGP Shatrujeet Kapur said the administration had denied permission for the yatra due to a meeting of the G20 Sherpa Group. The government has also announced the suspension of mobile Internet services from August 26 to 28.

Additional DGP (law and order) Mamta Singh said Sunday arrangements have been made to prevent any untoward incidents. Around 1,900 Haryana police personnel and 24 companies of the paramilitary forces have been deployed. The road leading to the Malhar temple has also been closed.

Earlier, Nuh deputy commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata and SP Narendra Bijarniya held a meeting with the peace committees. The DGP, Kapur, also presided over a meeting with senior officers of bordering states — Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and the Union territory of Chandigarh — through videoconferencing and called for coordinated efforts to effectively deal with any emerging situation.

On August 13, the Sarv Jatiya Hindu Mahapanchayat had given a call to resume the Brij Mandal Shobha Yatra in Nuh on August 28, which was disrupted after communal clashes in July. The VHP said the procession will be taken out and asserted there was no need to obtain permission for such religious events.

As a precautionary measure, the district administration has ordered the closure of educational institutions and banks on Monday, suspended
mobile Internet and bulk SMS services, and imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in the communally-sensitive district banning the assembly of four or more people till Monday.

In another development, the police said that Ferozepur Jhirka MLA Mamman Khan has been issued a notice to join the investigation on August 30. Some Hindu organisations had accused Mr Khan, a Congress MLA, of making provocative statements.


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