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Haryana Mahapanchayat: Hindu Groups To Resume Religious Procession On August 28, Demand NIA Probe And Call For Arms Licenses

Despite the directive that no hate speeches would be made at the mahapanchayat, provocative statements were made at the meeting. The mahapanchayat called for Nuh district to be broken up and merged into adjoining districts and a paramilitary centre to be set up in the region for security.

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People attend a 'Mahapanchayat' called by Hindu outfits, at Pondri village in Palwal District.
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A Hindu mahapanchayat in Haryana's Palwal on Sunday decided to resume the religious procession attacked in Nuh on August 28.  

In addition to the resumption of the procession, the mahapanchayat also demanded an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) into the Nuh violence and appealed to the Hindus in the region to get arms licenses. 

The mahapanchayat also asked the government to break up the Nuh district and merge its areas into the adjoining districts, such as Faridabad and Gurugram. They also demanded the setting up of a paramilitary centre in the region for security. 

The mahapanchayat was held in Palwal's Pondri village, but it was initially planned to be held in Nuh's Kira village. The permission for the meeting at Kira was denied in view of the prevailing law and order situation in the region and the permission was instead issued for the event at Palwal. The meeting was permitted with the directive that no hate speeches would be issued at the event. 

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The 'Sarva Jatiye Mahapanchayat' was called weeks after the communal violence rocked Haryana. On July 31, a religious procession organised by the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) came under attack in Nuh. Five people, including two Home Guard personnel, were killed. The violence then spread to nearby Gurugram district where mosques and shops were attacked and a Muslim cleric was killed. Following the Nuh violence, there have been tensions and communal polarisation in the region. Calls for a boycott of Muslims have also been issued. 

Hindu religious procession to resume on August 28

It was decided at the mahapanchayat in Palwal that the Hindu religious procession would be organised again on August 28. 

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The mahapanchayat decided that the yatra will resume from Nalhar in Nuh and then pass through Firozpur Jhirka's Jhir and Singar temples, reported PTI.

The procession by VHP, called the Brij Mandal Jalabhishek Yatra, was being taken out on July 31 but came under attack. A mob attacked the Hindu procession with stones, sticks, and bullets, and around 2,500 people sheltered at a temple where they were stranded for several hours and were rescued by the police. 

"When NDTV visited the temple, about 7 km from Nuh town, the Aravallis surrounding the temple looked scenic. Hours before, rioters gathered on these hillocks had fired shots and thrown stones as those inside the temple cowered into corners, hoping to survive those hours of horror," reported NDTV earlier, noting that the temple was the destination of the yatra. 

The permission for the yatra on August 28 has so far not been sought from the administration. 

"As they make their presentation, we will talk about it...When they want to do their programme, how many want to do it, how they want to do it, when they take permission from the government, we will take appropriate steps," said Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on the report of the religious procession being resumed on August 28, as per ANI. 

Mahapanchayat demands NIA probe and compensation 

The mahapanchayat also demanded the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to probe the July 31 violence in Nuh and a compensation for those killed and injured in the violence that day. 

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The NDTV reported, "The committee demanded a National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe into the July 31 violence, and Rs 1 crore each as compensation for families of 'their people' who were killed in the communal clashes. They further demanded Rs 50 lakh each for those injured, and recovery of damages during the riots from the accused."

Take up arms, don't be afraid of FIRs: Acharya Azad Shashtri

Despite the pre-condition of no hate speeches, provocative statements were made at the mahapanchayat. 

Acharya Azad Shashtri of the Haryana Gau Rakshak Dal gave a call for arms and asked youths to not be afraid of FIRs, reported India Today, which further quoted him as saying that it was a "do or die" situation. 

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India Today quoted Shastri as saying, "Shashtri said, “We should immediately ensure getting license of 100 arms in Mewat, and not guns but rifles because rifles can do long range firing. It is a do or die situation. This countries division was on the basis of Hindu and Muslims. It’s because Gandhi that these Muslims stayed back in Mewat...We shouldn’t be scared of FIRs. There are FIRs against me also but we shouldn’t be scared."

In other instance, a speaker said that "if you raise a finger, we will cut off your hands", according to a video shared by media.

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Mahapanchayat demands mergeer of Nuh with nearby districts

The mahapanchayat also called for the abolition of Nuh districts and merger of its areas with nearby districts. 

"Nuh district should be abolished, and the area should be made cow slaughter free, a committee of 51 people decided at the mahapanchayat. Terming cow smuggling the root cause of all quarrels in the area, the committee demanded a paramilitary force headquarter be set up in Nuh to ensure security," reported NDTV.

The PTI reported Gurugram-based VHP leader Devender Singh as saying that the mahapanchayat called for the deployment of four battalions of central forces in Nuh.

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