HC dismisses PIL for allowing VHP’s yatra
The political pitch in Uttar Pradesh is set to rise from Sunday with the VHP deciding to go ahead with its 84-kosi parikarama in Ayodhya, despite the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court dismissing a petition against the state government’s ban on
‘Since the petitioner has not pleaded any customary right to this parikrama regarding past several years it is dismissed,’ the court said. The court further observed, ‘There is nothing in the writ petition to show that the 84-kosi parikrama is a religious custom followed at the place mentioned and it was stated by the state counsel that such a parikrama has never been undertaken in the last 50 years’.
Meanwhile, the VHP, which held a meeting after the HC verdict earlier on Saturday morning, has resolved to go ahead with the yatra at the scheduled time from Sunday. ‘There is no change in the programme and it would start as per schedule from the Saryu ghat tomorrow after the puja archana,’ VHP spokesman Sharad Sharma said on Saturday. Assuring that saints would not disturb peace, Sharma said the yatra would move ahead as a religious march and if the government takes action against the saints, they would deal with it as they want.
VHP’s yatra was also backed by the BJP on Saturday which said tension in the state has been caused by statements that were being made about it and not the yatra itself. ‘There is no tension due to the yatra but due to all kinds of statements being made. If people avoid making comments, the yatra will be finished peacefully,’ said BJP leader Sushma Swaraj.
The Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha dismissed criticism from the Congress and the Samajwadi Party that the VHP’s decision is a political exercise to benefit the BJP ahead of elections as the annual yatra had already taken place. She said 84-kosi parikrama yatras are allowed round the year in Hinduism.
The state government has already arrested over 350 people and section 144 has been put into force in the six districts through which the yatra would pass.