Undeterred by the clampdown on its 84 Kosi Yatras, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad is set to kick off another yatra, Panch-Kosi Parikrama, from Monday, even as the government issued prohibitory orders in Ayodhya.
Section 144 has been enforced in the temple town, but Faizabad District Magistrate Vipin Kumar Dwivedi said devotees would not be restricted from carrying out ritual activities. However, the administration has banned weapons, demonstrations and restricted the use of loudspeakers.
The Parikrama was to have started on Sunday. However, VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma told The Hindu that there was no change in the schedule, and the programme kicked off on Sunday, with seers from south India doing a ‘yagna’ at Karsevakpuram, the workshop where stone carvings for the grand temple are kept. He, however, admitted that the Parikrama was to promote the demand for a Ram Mandir at the disputed site. The yatra will kick off on Monday and go on till October 13.
As they did during the 84 Kosi Yatra, prominent seers lashed out at the VHP, saying Panch-Kosi Parikrama did not have religious sanction. Acharya Satyendra Das, mahant of the Ram Janmabhoomi, said the Parikrama was traditionally held during Karthik and the yatra was an example of the VHP “trying hard to have its way.”