VHP, Bajrang Dal say will hold Nuh procession on July 22 - Hindustan Times
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VHP, Bajrang Dal say will hold Nuh procession on July 22

Jul 04, 2024 12:18 PM IST

The Nuh administration and police, however, stated that they have no knowledge of any such procession being planned

One year after an attack on a Hindu religious procession led to communal violence in Nuh and other parts of Haryana, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Bajrang Dal on Wednesday announced that they plan to conduct a similar religious event in the district on July 22.

VHP leaders announcing plans to hold the yatra on August 26, 2023. (HT Archive)
VHP leaders announcing plans to hold the yatra on August 26, 2023. (HT Archive)

The Nuh administration and police, however, stated that they have no knowledge of any such procession being planned, and added that no one has sought permission to conduct the event.

The event, named the Brij Mandal Jal Abhishek Yatra, was initiated as an annual affair by VHP in 2020and aims to “revive holy Hindu sites” in Nuh — a district around 50km from Gurugram, where Muslims constitute 79.2% of the population, according to the 2011 Census.

The procession begins with a ceremonial “jal abhishek” (pouring of sacred water) at the Nalhar Mahadev temple. This ancient temple, surrounded by the Aravallis near Nuh city, is believed to date back to the time of the Pandavas, and houses the Nalhar Pandava Reservoir.

On July 31, 2023, communal violence broke out in Nalhar villageof Nuh after mobs attacked the procession. The ensuing violence spread to other parts of Haryana, including Gurugram, leading to the death of six people, with a further 88 injured. Police later said that they believe the clashes were triggered by three provocative videos released by cow vigilantes on social media — two by Mohit Yadav alias Monu Manesar, and another by Raj Kumar (better known as Bittu Bajrangi) — ahead of the religious procession.

On Wednesday, VHP Haryana social media head Anurag Kulshrestha said this year’s yatra is being organised in coordination with holy men from 22 districts of the state, and said that the procession will be a “purely religious and non-political” event.

“Sadhus will lead the procession, focusing on the spiritual significance of the yatra and ensuring that it remains a peaceful and devotional event,” Kulshrestha said.

“The event is expected to draw at least 15,000 people. We will ensure that the devotees do not indulge in any kind of controversy, and its primary purpose is to conduct the ceremonial jal abhishek. All activities will be conducted in a non-political manner, emphasising religious and cultural traditions,” he said, adding that the participants will gather at Tau Devi Lal Stadium in Gurugram before proceeding to the Nalhar Mahadev temple.

Bajrang Dal functionary Kulbhushan Bhardwaj said they are preparing for the yatra and forming teams that will volunteer on July 22.

“For us, the yatra is our pride, and we will deploy volunteers to guard all the members… All participants have been directed to stay away from social media platforms and to not give any political or religious colour to the event,” he said.

However, authorities in Nuh said they are not aware of any plans for the religious event in the district.

Nuh superintendent of police Vijay Pratap Singh that they have not received any letter for permission to carry out the yatra. “If we do, we will ensure the event’s security, given the large expected turnout. We will coordinate with the administration to facilitate the smooth conduct of the yatra, and to prevent any disruptions,” he said.

Dhirendra Khadgata, the deputy commissioner of the district, said, “We do not have any idea nor we have received any letter for permission.”

Meanwhile Nuh legislator Aftab Ahmed said that they have concerns over the yatra due to the violence in the district last year. “We want the district administration and police to look into aspects of the law and order situation,” he said.

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