Ghaziabad: Saffron outfits dare police to make arrests for firing arms in Dasna temple
A number of saffron outfits on Tuesday came out in support of those involved in firing that took place at the ancient Dasna Devi temple in Ghaziabad on Vijaya Dashmi and condemned filing of an FIR in the matter.
Hundreds of devotees had performed the ‘Shastra Puja’ rituals and later fired weapons in the air inside the temple complex.
A day later, senior superintendent of police (SSP), HN Singh, took cognizance of a video that had gone viral on social media, showing the indiscriminate use of weapons and had ordered registration of an FIR at Masuri police station.
On Tuesday, members of several saffron outfits came together to support the cause of temple’s mahant, Yati Narsimhanand, and said that it was an attempt on the part of police to curtail the rights of devotees.
“We have been performing rituals and firing our arms on this occasion for many years now, to check if our arms are in order and the police also know of this. We opened fire inside the complex and not in a public place,” said Shashi Chauhan, a woman councillor from Dasna, who also featured in the video.
Members of the Shiv Sena said that the administration has failed to set up a proposed shooting range in Niwari, due to which they are forced to do it in other places.
“The firing (in the air) is done to check the weapons in the absence of a shooting gallery. The FIR lodged by the police is an attempt to demean the ritual performed by Hindus. We will protest if an arrest is made. Also, we will continue to perform the same ritual next year with more devotees,” said Mahesh Ahuja, state vice-president of the Shiv Sena.
Members of the Hindu Raksha Dal said the FIR is an attempt to pressurise the Hindu activists.
“The FIR and any action on it will not be tolerated. The Shastra Puja is an age-old ritual which is being performed for centuries now. We will resort to a major protest if any of the devotees seen in the video is arrested,” said Pinki Chaudhary, president of the association.
Even Mahant Yati Narsimhanand said that he had been uploading the video of ‘Shastra Puja’ and the firing activity on the social media for the last three years. “Lodging of an FIR is an attempt by the police to hit our sentiments. The activity was not in the open. It was inside the temple complex. We will hold a major protest if the police arrests even one devotee in connection with the FIR,” he said.
The police lodged an FIR under the sections of the Arms Act but have not made any arrest in the case.
“We are checking the video which went viral on the social media. Arrests will definitely be made in the case but we are still investigating it. Once people are identified from the video, we will take action,” said Raj Kumar Pandey, circle officer (Masuri).