Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) president Ashok Singhal on Monday expressed his anguish over the arrests of VHP leaders, and activists and slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for stopping the yatra claiming that the saints have the right to go to Ayodhya.
“The yatra is not about success and failure, it’s about saints coming from different places and their right to go to the religious place (Ayodhya). The Court has already said to free Pravin Togadia and Swami Ram Bhadracharya who were arrested yesterday. This movement is for Ram Mandir and our heritage and it has no political agenda,” he said.
Earlier in the day, the Allahabad High Court's bench in Lucknow on Monday ordered the release of three VHP leaders Ashok Singhal, Pravin Togadia and Swami Ram Bhadracharya who were arrested ahead of their Ayodhya march.
About 2,000 VHP activists protested at Jantar Mantar and the police used water cannons when some of them tried to break barricades to go towards Parliament. In the Lok Sabha, BJP member Yogi Adityanath accused the UP government of insulting Hindus by not allowing the VHP to go ahead with its planned yatra. Togadia and Singhal were among the nearly 1,700 people arrested in a massive crackdown by the Uttar Pradesh administration to foil the saffron outfit's yatra on Sunday that was banned over fears of a communal flare-up.
The planned 'Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Yatra' was to have lasted till 13th September criss-crossing six districts of Uttar Pradesh. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court had earlier on Saturday dismissed a plea for allowing the 'Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama Yatra', stating that there is a possibility of tension, and added that the restriction will be maintained.
The VHP has vowed to kick off its 'Chaurasi Kosi Parikrama' around Ayodhya to revive its demand for a Ram temple. The Samajwadi Party Government has banned the proposed Yatra, as a preemptive measure against communal flare-up.