Govt allows saints to start parikrama

VHP banned from taking part in religious yatra

 Apparently taking lessons from the recent communal violence in some western UP districts, the state government has allowed only saints and sadhus to undertake ‘panchakosi parikrama’ (20-km-long yatra around Ayodhya) beginning Monday, but has imposed a ban on the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) sponsored yatra.

“Saints and sadhus will not be stopped from undertaking the parikrama but the VHP will not be allowed to take part in the same,” said officials here on Sunday.

The authorities have also allowed holding of yajna (ritual by fire) and other religious programmes at Karsevakpuram, the VHP office in Ayodhya, sources said, adding that prohibitory orders will remain in force in Faizabad till October 30.

Sensitive district

As Faizabad is a communally sensitive district, officials were not prepared to take any chance and were taking all preventive measures to maintain order during the yatra and prevent any trouble.

The authorities were wary of the approaching festivities of Navratra and the recent communal clashes at Muzaffarnagar. Many of the places that fall in the yatra route had mixed population and even a small incident could result in a communal flare up, they said.
“The yatra by the saints and sadhus will be undertaken amid tight security arrangements,” said an official.

Plan foiled

The state government had earlier foiled the VHP’s plan to undertake the ‘84 kosi parikrama’ (300-km-long yatra around the temple town of Ayodhya) and had arrested top leaders of the organisation.

Security continued to be tight in Ayodhya and other places in view of the VHP’s plan to undertake the parikrama, the officials said.

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