Low-key 'jalabhishek' in Nalhar temple, Nuh as VHP curtails shobha yatra
To prevent any untoward incident, the district administration has also imposed Section 144 of the CrPC in Nuh and adjoining areas until Tuesday, 29 August
After a day-long tussle between Haryana Police and RSS affiliate Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), at least 51 members of various Hindu organisations were allowed to perform ‘jalabhishek’ (a Hindu water ritual) at Nalhar Temple in Nuh.
On completion of the jalabhishek, Haryana home minister Anil Vij said, “Everything is under control. We have deployed a sufficient police force. And people performed 'jalabhishek'.”
Haryana Police, which had denied permission for a ceremonial religious procession or 'shobha yatra', ought to have heaved a sigh of relief that the truncated occasion passed without incident. Observers say the softening of the police stand to grant permission for the 'jalabhishek' was an apparent bid to send out a 'positive message' to Hindu organisations.
“In view of the sensitivity of the prevailing situation and certain social media posts, we prevented some people coming in groups from outside Haryana,” said ADGP (law and order) Mamta Singh. “Internet services have been suspended in the area... We will remove all restrictions once everything is normal.
To prevent any untoward incident, the district administration has also imposed Section 144 of the CrPC until Tuesday, 29 August, appealing to the public to avoid any kind of movement in Nuh. All educational institutes, including schools and colleges, and banks in the district were closed down.
Heavy security arrangements were put in place, and some seers heading towards Nuh were stopped at Gurugram, police officials said. Some were seen being escorted out by the police.
After permission for the 'jalabhishek' was granted, VHP leader Alok Kumar said: “We know that the G20 is going to start, so we will shorten the yatra…Why will law and order issues arise? Why is the government there? The government is there to maintain law and order so that people can organise their religious events peacefully and safely. We will organise it peacefully and complete it.”
Mahamandleshwar Swami Dharamdev said 'jalabhishek' was not being held the way it was supposed to, but the formality should have been completed.
Following the arrest of over 250 people after the 31 July violence and demolition of houses following clashes during a similar 'shobha yatra', locals in Nuh had seemingly decided to shut themselves in anyway, Section 144 or not.
"We have no connection with the 31 July riots. Still, we have lost our houses and shops. We are targeted. So in view of the shobha yatra, we decided to remain indoors so that no one can blame us," Hamid Khan, a resident of Nalhad village, said.
In Ghasera village, a group of men sitting outside a tea shop discussing the shobha yatra said, "We are noting car numbers and names of strangers passing by. We cannot bear another clash."
"Our brothers' houses have been demolished without any reason. We are in touch with the local administration and decided not to venture out," said Mahmood Khan, another Ghasera resident.
(With inputs from IANS)