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Dangs on toes for Kumbh

With just a few days left for the Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP)?s Shabari Kumbh in Dangs, in south Gujarat, para-military forces are moving in by the droves.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 04:56 IST
Rathin Das

With just a few days left for the Viswa Hindu Parishad (VHP)’s Shabari Kumbh in Dangs, in south Gujarat, para-military forces are moving in by the droves.

Four companies of the State Reserve Police (SRP) have already been deployed in the district. The local police, too, have intensified patrol in villages where the tribal Christians are apprehensive that the three-day congregation would turn out to be a re-conversion ploy.

Seven more companies of the SRP will be deployed in due course while four companies of the Rapid Action Force (RAF) are scheduled to arrive on Tuesday.

The Centre’s decision to deploy the RAF was prompted by a fact-finding mission that reported on the tension brewing in the district over the Shabari Kumbh being organised for the first time by the VHP and Vanvasi Kalyan Parishad.

Wiser after the anti-Christian violence in 1998-99, the district police, too, have reviewed security arrangements at 183 Christian institutions like schools, hospitals and churches, Dangs SP B.K. Shrimali told the Hindustan Times over phone.

Subir village, where the ‘kumbh’ will be held, has been divided into 16 sectors and each sector put under the supervision of one DSP who have been rushed in from all over Gujarat.

The Ahwa and Vaghai zones of the district will be under ten mobile groups each, the Shrimali said.

In view of the large number of people expected to turn up for the Kumbh, makeshift hospitals have been set up in the vicinity of the venue.

First Published: Feb 07, 2006 04:56 IST