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BJP attacks UP government over arrests

New Delhi, Aug 26, 2013 (IANS): 11:08 IST
Policemen stop activists of the nationalist organization Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) or World Hindu Council in Ayodhya, about, 550 kilometers (350 miles) east of New Delhi, India, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. Authorities on Sunday detained hundreds of Hindu nationalists in northern India for allegedly defying a ban on pilgrimages to a disputed holy site that has been the cause of deadly clashes between Hindus and Muslims.  AP photo
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) 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.

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