VHP bandh call fizzles out

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Jammu
  • Updated: Jul 19, 2014 19:15 IST

Bandh (shutdown) call given by right-wing Hindu organisation on Saturday to protest against violence at Amarnath yatra base camp at Baltal on Friday did not evoke much response. The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party had not extended support to the bandh call.

The local police picked up and detained few activists of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal early on Saturday morning even they burned some tyres outside the VHP office. These organisations had also not made public announcement about the bandh on Friday evening. It was another routine business day in the city, where BJP had much support, which had in the past reacted strongly to such incident.

Atlesat 50 people were injured and 10 tents of langars were torched after clashes between locals and langar operators at Baltal on Friday, forcing the authorities to stop yatra.

With the situation under control the tight security, 23rd batch of 1,389 pilgrims moved from Jammu on Saturday morning for the Yatra.

VHP state unit president Leela Karan Sharma has demanded an inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the incident. He said people operating langars, who offer free food and logistics to the yatris, were scared and could stop their sevices and if it happens it would give wrong signal to the whole country.

"They've already started winding up their operations and it’s the duty of the state government to give them protection,” said VHP state president.

He alleged the separatists and their sympathisers, even in the state administration, were planning conspiracy to curtail the yatra.

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