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Kanwar yatra: A ‘high decibel’ political slugfest

During the 2017 assembly election campaign, the BJP had made the ban on DJs a poll issue. Terming the SP government as “anti-Hindu” the BJP leaders said once their party formed a government, the ban on DJ during Kanwar Yatra would be lifted. After grabbing power in the 2017 assembly election, UP government had lifted the ban on playing DJs during the Kanwar Yatra in the month of Sawan (August).

lucknow Updated: Aug 10, 2018 13:35 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Kanwar yatra,High decibel,Political slugfest
The movement of traffic on the highways falling on the Kanwar Yatra route was regulated. While the Kanwarias moved on one side of the highway, vehicles moved on the other side.(HT Photo)

After grabbing power in the 2017 assembly election, the state government had lifted the ban on playing DJs during the Kanwar Yatra in the month of Sawan (August).

District administration officers were directed to permit the kanwarias to play bhajans or film songs that were not vulgar or provocative. But, the devotees were not allowed to move with swords, spears, trishul and sticks during the yatra.

Earlier, in view of communal clashes in the districts of western UP, the Samajwadi Party government had banned DJs during the Kanwar Yatra. The police officers were directed to nab devotees who violated the order.

The movement of traffic on the highways falling on the Kanwar Yatra route was regulated. While the Kanwarias moved on one side of the highway, vehicles moved on the other side.

“The clashes in Bulandshahr and Meerut districts during the Kanwar Yatra show the failure of the state government. The BJP is trying to draw political mileage from the Kanwar Yatra.”Rajendra Chaudhary, spokesperson, SP

During the 2017 assembly election campaign, the BJP had made the ban on DJs a poll issue. Terming the SP government as “anti-Hindu” the BJP leaders said once their party formed a government, the ban on DJ during Kanwar Yatra would be lifted.

“It’s a Kanwar Yatra, not a shamshan (death procession) yatra” – was the slogan of senior BJP leaders.

While reviewing the preparation for the Kanwar Yatra, chief minister Yogi Adityanath directed officers to ensure that while playing DJ kanwariyas do not play high-decibel music. The Supreme Court order on sound pollution control was implemented. Yogi made an aerial survey of the Kanwar Yatra in western UP on July 28.

As the number of the devotees swelled, the district administration diverted the traffic on Lucknow-Gorakhpur highway and Meerut-Haridwar highway since Monday. Barricades were set up on the highways to block the movement of traffic. As a result, the people faced a lot of inconvenience as no announcement was made by the district administration nor any insignia was put to guide the commuters.

SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said to maintain law and order during the Kanwar Yatra, the SP government had imposed ban on DJs and regulated the movement of traffic on highways.

“The clashes in Bulandshahr and Meerut districts during the Kanwar Yatra show the failure of the state government. The BJP is trying to draw political mileage from the Kanwar Yatra,” he said.

DIG (law and order) Praveen Kumar said the police had taken action against the anti-social elements who attacked policemen in Bulandshahr. In Uledpur village in Meerut, Dalits and Thakurs clashed over a local issue. One person died and half a dozen were injured. Extra police force has been deployed and action had been taken against the culprits, he said.

The senior police and district administration officers were maintaining regular vigil on the Kanwar Yatra with aerial survey. CCTVs have been installed and ATS commandos deployed to take action against the anti-social elements, he added.

First Published: Aug 10, 2018 13:35 IST