Sunday, June 23, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

VHP threatens Muslims, seeks ban on madarsaas

Hardwar, June 22
A crucial meeting of the VHP Central Advisory Board began on a belligerent note here this morning with its leader Ashok Singhal warning Muslims that “if they continue to take the country towards Partition” they would have to stay in refugee camps like in Gujarat.

The VHP leaders also began discussions on a resolution which condemned the BJP-led NDA government’s suppression of March 15 ‘shila daan’ programme and demanded enactment of a law to hand over 43 acres of acquired land to Ram Janambhoomi Nyas to facilitate the construction of the temple.

The two-day meeting of the Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal, the first after the March 15 programme, is expected to review the earlier commitment given by the Nyas to the Centre that it would abide by the court verdict on the disputed land.

Expressing serious concern over growing Islamic fundamentalism and ISI activity, VHP International working President Singhal claimed that the recent communal violence in Gujarat symbolised the first positive response of the Hindus to Muslim fundamentalism in 1,000 years.

“Muslims are forced to stay in camps. If they continue to take the country towards Partition, they will have to stay in camps across the country,” he said.

The VHP demanded an immediate ban on madarsaas spreading “Islamic terrorism”, Tableegh movement and the centres preaching Taliban ideology, accusing them of trying to partition the country again.

In a resolution, the VHP alleged that lakhs of fundamentalist students of the Taliban variety were being churned out in over one lakh madarsaas in the country.

“When Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf said the next war will be fought on Indian territory, he had envisioned these students as his army,” it said.

Moving the resolution, VHP International General Secretary Praveenbhai Togadia alleged that Deoband Darul-Ulum was behind the Taliban while the Tableegh movement to enforce religion was behind the Lashker-e-Toiba and Ahle Hadees which ran hundreds of madarsaas in the country.

He called for creating an awareness in society about “nefarious designs of these outfits” and urged the majority community to “rise in self-defence”.

The resolution also charged “the secular fundamentalists” and the Communists with supporting these subversive elements.

The VHP went back on its commitment to maintain status quo at Ayodhya, accusing the government of “back-tracking on its promises” and asked Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati to take back its written undertaking to the Centre in this regard.

In a letter to the pontiff, several religious leaders reminded him that the government had given him verbal assurances on March 8 to lift all restrictions in Ayodhya and allow “shila daan” on March 15 and transfer land to the Nyas by June 2. They asked the pontiff to make public the government’s failure to keep these promises.

However, throwing a spanner in the VHP wheel, most “Akharas” (religious schools) boycotted the meeting, accusing Sangh Pariwar outfits of “misusing religious leaders to serve their vested interests.”

Singhal also exhorted the religious leaders to mobilise the Hindu community through religious congregations, chanting of Lord Rama’s name and yajnas and lead the Hindu society in combating conversions, cow slaughter and attempts to divide the majority community. PTI

K.G. Dutt adds: The Marg Darshak Mandal reiterated that the matter of the construction of the temple was beyond the jurisdiction of the court. It declared that the VHP was not bound to honour the court verdict although it held the judiciary in highest esteem.

The resolution adopted by the mandal demanded that Parliament should enact a law by which the entire campus of the temple and the adjoining land should be handed over to the Nyas.

A lot of heat was generated at the meeting where the VHP criticised the attitude of the NDA government towards the religious programme of the VHP.

Mahant Ram Chander param Hans, Chairman of the Nyas, accused the Vajpayee government and the Prime Minister of dithering over the matter. He said the patience of the saints was exhausted and they would not care about the political ramifications.

The resolution said over 12 crore Hindus had signed a memorandum in support of the temple and offered monetary support for it.


BJP distances itself from VHP

New Delhi, June 22
The BJP today sought to distance itself from the stand taken by the VHP on the temple issue at its two-day meeting in Hardwar, saying that the issue could be settled only through consensus or court verdict.

As far as the BJP was concerned, “the party favours resolving the issue through court vedict or consensus among parties involved in the dispute,” BJP spokesman V.K. Malhotra told reporters here.

In a major shift from its earlier commitment to abide by the court verdict, the VHP at a meeting of its Central Advisory body in Hardwar today declared the Ram temple issue was “non-negotiable” and matters of faith could not be decided by judiciary.

Asked about the U-turn by the VHP, Mr Malhotra merely said “this is their known stand.” PTI

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