Right-wing outfit Bajrang Dal organised a 'self defence' camp in Ayodhya to impart training in weapons to saffron cadres, an exercise which Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik today virtually defended.
"This arms training is for the purpose of self defence. There should not be any objection from any quarter. The intention behind this exercise is what counts," Ram Naik said while replying to the queries of the media.
Naik was speaking on the sidelines of the annual function of the Saraswati Vidya Mandir school at Atrauli, about 30 kilometres from here.
Photographs of the saffron cadres brandishing rifles, swords and even lathis (sticks) in the camps in some Bajrang Dal-managed schools had gone viral on social media and news channels.
Seeking to allay apprehension on the on the issue of arms training camps, Naik said, "Those who cannot defend themselves, cannot ultimately defend the country and there is nothing wrong if some youth are getting arms training purely for self defence".
The radical group is of the view that martial art and weapon training was needed as it could not rely on the police and politicians to protect the Hindu community from the alleged threat that they face.
The annual 'self defence' camp of the right-wing outfit, which was organised in Ayodhya, is now scheduled to be held in Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Pilibhit, Noida and Fatehpur, sources in Bajrang Dal, which is the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), said.
Bajrang Dal has faced allegations of rioting and violence against religious minorities. The outfit has also been accused of running vigilante cow-protection programmes.