A 12-year-old boy was killed in a blast in Roorkee on Saturday near a college where BJP MLA Sangeet Som, an accused in the Muzaffarnagar riots, was attending a meet on the 22nd anniversary of Babri mosque demolition.
The victim was identified as Tushar Dhiman, a student in the local school. The police suspect a crude bomb caused the blast.
Som, MLA of Sardhana in Uttar Pradesh, was at the function organised by the BJP and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) when the blast occurred. The site of the blast was barely 20 metres away from the meet.
Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat expressed grief over Dhiman’s death and said the police were conducting a probe into the incident. BJP state president Tirath Singh Rawat questioned the timing of the blast. In Ayodhya, the anniversary of the demolition passed without incident. Security had been beefed up across the city with about 10,000 security personnel deployed along with imposition of prohibitory orders.
Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas president Mahant Nritya Gopal Das on Saturday said he, along with other prominent saints of Ayodhya would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon and request him to move a bill in Parliament for construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. He added that he hoped the temple would be constructed within a year.
Two Shiv Sainiks were injured in a minor scuffle with policemen in Muzaffarnagar as they were going in a procession to mark the anniversary of the demolition. In another incident, police forcibly removed VHP and Bajrang Dal activists, who had organised a ‘yagya’ to mark the occasion.
A shutdown was observed in parts of Hyderabad on a call given by some Muslim groups to demand reconstruction of the demolished mosque at its original site in Ayodhya.