National

Haryana: Nuh Administration Facilitates Symbolic Shobha Yatra, Borders Remain Sealed

Streets wore a deserted look in Nuh, Haryana, this morning as the district administration ordered the closure of educational institutions and banks, suspended mobile Internet and bulk SMS services and imposed prohibitory orders in the communally-sensitive district.

Mahant Narayan Giri (right) at Ghamroj toll plaza ahead of a 'Shobha Yatra' in Nuh
info_icon

The Nuh administration on Monday facilitated a symbolic shobha yatra of Hindu seers and leaders as the larger procession was not allowed. 

Under the symbol yatra, a small group of Hindu seers and leaders went to offer prayers at the Shiv temple in Nuh's Nalhar. The exact number of people allowed is not immediately clear as while Nuh Deputy Commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata said around 15 seers and leaders of some Hindutva outfits were allowed, a seer said 50-60 were allowed, and another media report said that 50-100 people were allowed. 

Visuals shared by media organisations showed seers and Hindu leaders going to the temple in multiple at least two vehicles. 

The Haryana government had denied permission to the Brij Mandal Shobha Yatra of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), but the defiant VHP had repeatedly said that it would carry out the yatra nonetheless. However, only a symbolic yatra was carried out on Monday.

Since Sunday, Nuh has been under a tight security envelope and several thousands of police and paramilitary personnel have been deployed in the district. Barricades have been set up all around Nuh to stop the entry of outsiders in the district. Barricades have been set up all the way of Delhi-Gurugram border to Nuh. 

Nuh administration facilitates smaller yatra

A small group of seers and Hindu leaders were allowed to go to the Shiv temple at Nalhar instead of the larger yatra. 

"The Jalabhishek Yatra is not happening as per usual, but the formality is being done...The traditions should continue...Fifty-sixty people are there," said Mahamandleshwar Swami Dharamdev as he and others were going to the temple for the symbolic yatra.

Nuh Deputy Commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata said around 15 seers and leaders of some Hindutva outfits have been allowed to visit the Shiv temple in Nalhar and they will perform 'jalabhishek' there, reported PTI, adding that Mahamandaleshwar Swami Dharm Dev and Swami Parmanand were among the group allowed to visit the temple.

After the rituals at the Nalhar temple, the group left for the Jhir temple at Firozpur Jhirka, reported PTI. 

Bajrang Dal's Gurugram District Convener Praveen Hindustani said to PTI that a limited number of people took part in the 'yatra' and they have now left for Jhir temple in a bus amid tight security.

After the Haryana government denied permission for the yatra, the VHP said it would organise it nonetheless. This is the same yatra that could not be completed on July 31. That day, the VHP's yatra came under attack from a mob with stones, sticks, and bullets. Around 2,500 people sheltered at a temple where they were stranded for several hours and were rescued by the police. Five people were killed in the attack on the VHP's yatra, including two Home Guards personnel. The violence then spread to neighbouring Gurugram where mosques and shops were attacked and a Muslim cleric was killed. The two episodes of violence led to several days of curfew and more minor incidents in the region. 

VHP's defiance of state government

Even though the wider yatra was not taken out on Monday, the VHP had until Sunday defied the Haryana government with repeated iterations that it would carry out the yatra despite the rejection of permission. 

The VHP also said that it did not require permission at all as it was a "pilgrimage".

Earlier, VHP National Spokesperson Vinod Bansal said, "The Abhishek Yatra would be carried out on 28th, that is the last Monday of Shravan mass [a month in Hindu calendar]. Since this a pilgrimage, no permission is needed for it. It is a country of pilgrimage sites...There is no question for the denial of permission." 

Separately, Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar has reiterated that there is no permission for the procession. 

Khattar also urged people to visit nearby temples instead of organising any procession.

He said, "Looking at the kind of incident that happened there (Nuh) at the beginning of the month, it is the government's duty to ensure that law and order in the area is maintained. Our police and administration have taken this decision that instead of carrying out a yatra (Braj Mandal Shobha Yatra), people should go to nearby temples and offer prayers. Permission for yatra is denied but people can go and offer prayers in temples as it is Sawan month."

Security arrangements in Nuh

Well before the yatra in Nuh, internet and bulk SMS services were banned in the district from Saturday till Monday.

All schools, colleges, and banks were also ordered to be closed in the district on Monday. 

Section 144 of CrPC has also been imposed in Nuh that disallows large public gatherings. 

A police spokesperson on Sunday said that 1,900 Haryana Police personnel and 24 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed in the region, reported PTI, adding that the spokesperson also said that no outsider will be allowed to enter Nuh and all entry points to the district have been sealed and the road leading to the Malhar temple has also been closed.

Advertisement

The PTI on Monday reported that five major checkpoints have been set up from the Delhi-Gurugram border until Nuh with media vehicles not being allowed to go beyond the third checkpoint.

The PTi also reported that the area from Sohna to Nuh wore a deserted look and not a single shop was open and no locals were seen on the streets. 

The borders of the districts had been sealed and barricades have been set up all around to prevent any outsider from entering the district.

Earlier on August 13, a Hindu outfits' mahapanchayat had decided to hold the yatra, which was attacked on July 31, on August 28. The yatra was to resume from Nuh's Nalhar and then pass through Firozpur Jhirka's Jhir temple and Shingar temple. 

Advertisement

Nuh Deputy Commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata has deputed 57 duty magistrates at designated places in the wake of the call for the 'shobha yatra', reported PTI on Monday, adding that he also appealed to the locals to cooperate with the district administration in maintaining law and order.

Haryana Director General of Police (DGP) Shatrujeet Kapur on Saturday had said the government had denied permission for the yatra due to a meeting of the G20 Sherpa Group to be held in Nuh during September 3-7 and to maintain law and order in the aftermath of the July 31 communal riots.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement