UP: Two arrested for displaying ‘Hindus-only’ posters along Ganga river

Two Bajrang Dal leaders were arrested by the Varanasi police for displaying posters with a message that “Only Hindus should visit ghats along the river Ganga”.

The two, identified as Rajan Gupta and Nikhil Tripathi were later released on submission of personal bonds of Rs 5 lakh each.

Commissioner of police A. Satish Ganesh said that two persons, who were seen in the photos while pasting posters at ghats, were issued notices under 107/16 of CrPC for breaching the peace.

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“Both of them were brought to the ACP court in police lines, where they furnished personal bonds of Rs 5 lakh each, after which they were released,” he added.

During the initial investigation, Vishwa Hindu Parishad senior office-bearers were asked to clarify the status of Gupta, who poses himself as city unit secretary of VHP, and Tripathi, who poses himself as Bajrang Dal city convener.

On January 6, these right-wing “activists” pasted a number of posters banning the entry of non-Hindus on the Ghats.

The posters contained a message that “those who treat the ghats of the Ganga as picnic spots should stay away from ghats of Maa Ganga, as it is a symbol of Sanatan culture.” The posters said that they welcome those who show respect to Sanatan dharma.

These posters were resented by many groups, including Congress leaders and Sajha Sanskriti Manch, who termed it a bid to disturb communal harmony and peace.

A large number of foreign tourists come to Varanasi and spend hours at the ghats, interacting with local people. Right-wing activists had earlier objected to smoking by these tourists.

The right-wing organizations had also staged demonstrations and recited the Hanuman Chalisa in front of a church in the Chandmari area on New Year’s Eve.

The culture of promoting Hindu Sanatan dharma, while boycotting and suppressing minorities has been intensifying with the Uttar Pradesh elections approaching, in an attempt to polarise the majority Hindu votes for the Bharatiya Janata Party.

The Hindutva-led anti-minority campaign has been taking place in various parts of the country with elections approaching in UP, Punjab, Goa, Uttarakhand, and Manipur.

The campaign started out in mid-December with a Dharam-Sansad being organized by Hindutva leaders in Haridwar, where they spew hate against the religious minorities and called for genocide, against Muslims.

Following the hate conclave in Haridwar, a number of such events have been held in various parts of the country where hate speeches were delivered publicly.

(With inputs from IANS)

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