Announcement by Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) to construct temples of Nathuram Godse, the assassin of Mahatma Gandhi, in Sitapur and Meerut has put the state police in a fix.
Though the state government has directed the cops to keep a watch on the activities of the Hindu nationalist party, no action could be initiated against its leaders, who have declared to observe January 30, the day Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, as Shaurya Diwas.
A senior police officer said, “The superintendents of police (SPs) have been directed to take action against those who try to disturb harmony and flare up tension over Godse temple. No arrest has been made though.”
Elaborating on the party’s plan, president of ABHM, Kamlesh Tiwari, said the foundation stone of Godse temple would be laid on January 30 in Para village, Sitapur district, 70-km north of Lucknow. “I have donated my land for construction of the temple and there is no need to seek permission from the district administration for it,” he said.
A meeting of ABHM leaders will be held on January 20 to finalise the foundation-laying programme. With the district unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) maintaining distance from the issue, ABHM leaders said they would not invite them to the programme. If BJP opposes the temple, we would not hesitate in launching a movement against it as well, they added.
Additional district magistrate (ADM), Sarvesh Dixit, said, “If ABHM leaders do not submit application for construction of temple or installation of statue, they will not be allowed to go ahead with the construction work.”
The SP, Rajesh Krishna, said the police was maintaining vigil over the activities of the ABHM. The sub-divisional magistrate too has been directed to visit the village to make on-spot inspection.
In Meerut, the leader of ABHM, Chandra Prakash Kaushik, said, “We will install the statue of Godse at selected spots on January 30 and start construction of the temple as well.”
He condemned BJP state unit’s president Laxmikant Bajpai for opposing the construction of Godse temple. “If BJP continues to oppose the temple, ABHM will field its candidate in 2017 assembly election,” he said.
Like Sitapur, here too district administration officials are keeping watch on the activities of the ABHM members. “No instruction has been received from the state government regarding ban on ‘Shaurya Diwas’ programme,” said an official.