Godse statue creates row in UP

Saffron outfits’ plan to erect  statues of Mahatma Gandhi’s killer Nathuram Godse in Meerut and Sitapur districts in Uttar Pradesh has triggered a major controversy with a case being lodged against one of the office-bearers of one such outfit.

According to the police sources here, All India Hindu Mahasabha activists had performed a “bhumi pujan” (a religious ritual before launching construction work on the land) ceremony in Meerut town, about 450 km from here.

The Mahasabha activists also reportedly declared that  Godse’s statue would be unveiled on January 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated in 1948.

According to sources, the Mahasabha office-bearers also used “objectionable” words against the Father of the Nation.  A case has been registered against Mahasabha general secretary Madan Acahrya in this regard in Meerut.

An office-bearer of another outfit, Om Shiv Mahakal Seva Samiti, said that the land belonged to the Samiti and that a 4.5-foot-high Godse statue would be erected shortly.

The Mahasabha has also announced that a statue of Godse would also be erected inside  an Akhand Bharat Temple in Sitapur district, about 90 km from here.

“The land for the temple has already been selected in the district and the bhumi pujan ceremony will be organised soon,” said an activist of Mahasabha.

The authorities have made it clear that they will not allow any activity that may vitiate the atmosphere. “We are keeping a close watch on the situation...stern action will be taken against those who try to foment trouble,” said a senior official here on Friday.

Earlier, a BJP MP from Unnao, Sakshi Maharaj had courted controversy by calling Godse a “patriot”.

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