28 October, 2020

Storm Troopers

Protests, arrests and rallies. VHP spoils for a fight. And an uneasy calm prevails Updates

Tribhuvan Tiwari
Storm Troopers
Another chapter of the Ayodhya saga. By high noon on October 17, the VHP had lived up to its promise that "no power on earth" would stop it from reaching Ayodhya. In spite of security personnel outnumbering kar sevaks 10 to one for the past two days, highly-motivated VHP cadres managed to slip into the temple town through the Faizabad-Ayodhya railway track. VHP president Ashok Singhal, who had "gone underground" for the past three days, also lived up to the belief of the faithful that "woh Ayodhya mein prakat honge" (he will appear in Ayodhya). But as soon as Singhal, all dressed in saffron, made an appearance in karsevapuram, he was arrested along with 2,000 VHP-Bajrang Dal members. As many of them rushed to the roof of the building and pelted the security personnel with bricks and stones, leaving the police with no choice but to use tear gas and fire rubber bullets in the air.

The VHP had, after all, been spoiling for a fight for the past week—and it got one. All the efforts of the Centre and the state government to work a compromise went in vain. The skirmish in...


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