North India

Haryana govt allows ‘Shobha Yatra’ in Nuh amid heavy security

The 'Shobha Yatra' was allowed on a small scale to proceed to the Shiv Temple in Nalhar even as several Hindu saints and devotees who had arrived from other states were prevented from entering Nuh district.

Gurugram: The Haryana government has allowed 15 Hindu religious figures and leaders of right-wing groups to hold the ‘Shobha Yatra’ in Nuh demanded by the ‘Sarv Jatiya Hindu Mahapanchayat’ on a small scale, even as the district was transformed into a virtual fortress with a heavy cover of security. 

The ‘Shobha Yatra’ was allowed on a small scale to proceed to the Shiv Temple in Nalhar even as several Hindu saints and devotees who had arrived from other states were prevented from entering Nuh district. 

The yatra was attended by International Working President VHP Alok Kumar, Prant President Pawan Kumar, ‘prant’ Pracharak (RSS) Vijay, president of 52 ‘pals’ Arun Zaildar and 12-member representatives of Sarv Hindu Samaj and other senior workers and local workers of the VHP. 

After the communal riots on July 31, authorities had refused permission for the yatra on Monday. 

On the final Monday of the holy month of Shravan, people were, nonetheless, permitted to offer prayers in the temples nearby. 

In light of the yatra’s call, extensive security measures have been put in place, and several seers travelling to Nuh were stopped at Gurugram, according to police officials. 

From the Delhi-Gurugram border to Nuh, five significant checkpoints were put in place. Even vehicles belonging to the media were not permitted to pass through the third one. 

“Locals have been performing prayer and Jalabhishek since last Monday. We cannot stop anyone from doing religious things. We did not allow outsiders to come here in huge numbers. Locals performed Aarti and Jalabhishek in Nalhad temple without any problem,” Mamta Singh, ADGP Law and Order, told IANS.

The vehicle of Hindu seer Jagatguru Paramhans Acharya, who was travelling from Ayodhya, was reportedly halted at the Ghamorj toll booth close to Sohna. 

Acharya told the media that the police had stopped him and his followers as they were bringing the Saryu river’s water and the soil of Ayodhya for the ‘Jalabhishek’ at the Nalhar temple. He was near the toll booth when he went on a hunger strike in protest. 

Around 15 seers and representatives of some Hindutva organisations have been given permission to attend the Shiv temple in Nalhar and perform a “Jalabhishek”, according to Nuh Deputy Commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata. 

Swami Parmanand and Mahamandaleshwar Swami Dharm Dev were among the group permitted to enter the shrine. 

After doing their prayers at the Nalhar temple, a group of VHP members and local people travelled to the Jhir temple in Firozpur Jhirka and Shringar temple in Punhana in police vehicles. 

A small group of people participated in the “yatra,” according to President of 52 Pals Arun Zaildar, who said that they had boarded a bus from Nuh police lines to Nalhad temple under heavy security. 

From Sohna to Nuh, the area appeared to be desolate. 

No stores were open, and there were no locals to be seen on the streets. 

A 35-year-old resident of Nuh, who didn’t wish to be named, said: “There are no problems at all. The locals are peaceful, and we have closed our businesses out of caution. We witnessed what occurred previously. There is no reason whatsoever to instill fear in this place. They are performing Yatra as per their religion, so we have no problem with that.” 

As a preventive measure, the Nuh district government has already placed prohibitory orders in the communally sensitive district, halted mobile Internet and bulk SMS services, and ordered the closure of educational institutions and banks on Monday. 

Security personnel have been stationed at each entry point to the district, preventing outsiders from entering Nuh. 

Officials claim that 24 companies of paramilitary forces and 1,900 members of the Haryana Police have been sent out to maintain a tight vigil. 

Police have built many tiers of roadblocks. 

Drones and anti-riot vehicles have also deployed. 

After a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) parade was attacked by a mob on July 31, resulting in the death of six individuals, communal confrontations broke out in Nuh and its surrounding districts. 

The Brij Mandal Shobha Yatra in Nuh, which was postponed in July due to racial tensions, will resume on August 28 after being called off on August 13 by the Sarv Jatiya Hindu Mahapanchayat. 

The Mahapanchayat then agreed that the ‘yatra’ would continue from Nalhar in Nuh and travel through the district’s Jhir and Shingar temples before ending at Punhana. 

The VHP has stated that a procession will be held and that no permit is required for such religious gatherings. 

Following the summons for the “Shobha Yatra”, Nuh Deputy Commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata has assigned 57 Duty Magistrates to certain locations. 

Additionally, he urged the neighbourhood residents to assist the district authoritries in upholding law and order.

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