Police on Friday tightened security at a temple in Meerut to stop a Hindu group from installing a statue of Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin Nathuram Godse on the death anniversary of the father of the nation.
District authorities didn’t want to take any chances after Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha leaders performed a Bhumi Pujan ceremony at the city’s Radha Krishna temple in December to install Godse’s statue, drawing sharp criticism from the Congress and other parties.
“We beefed up security and deployed additional force to ensure law and order in the area,” said Vijay Pratap Yadav, circle officer of the Brahmpuri area. Mahasabha leaders have now decided to approach the high court, blaming police for not allowing them to visit the site, or even their office situated within the temple complex.
“Police cordoned off the place late Thursday night and didn’t allow us to even perform our daily Havan (prayer) “, said Ashoka Sharma, a member of the Mahasabha`s central working committee. Leaders of the Hindu group alleged security officials had sealed the premises without hearing their pleas.
“Followers of Gandhi are threatening followers of Godse,” he said, saying they were being harassed for following a particular ideology.
The group had planned to hold the programme at a famous temple in Triplicane but had to change the venue after police placed four top leaders under house arrest.
“The police did not give permission to carry out the ghar wapsi ceremony and put us under house arrest,” said Arjun Sampath, president of the Hindu Makkal Katchi. The four, detained at a house in west Chennai’s Anna Nagar, are yet to be released, sources said.