The proposed Jalabhishek Yatra by Hindu outfits in Nuh on Monday was curtailed by the administration, which only allowed Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) international executive president Alok Kumar along with a dozen Sarv Hindu Samaj representatives, a few saints, and some workers of local Hindu outfits, to offer prayers and holy water at the three temples. They were taken around in four mini-buses escorted by the police teams.
The event remained incident-free but the police took 41 people into preventive custody across four districts in Haryana.
Mr. Kumar, after offering holy waters at Nalhar’s Shiv temple, the starting point of the religious procession, said it could be done with the united strength of the Hindus and the group would visit all the three temples to assure the entire Hindu society along with those in Mewat that no one had the power to disrespect them.
VHP joint general-secretary Surendra Jain told The Hindu over phone that the organisers had agreed to reduce the size and scale of the procession at the behest of the administration. “Those in the procession are mostly locals and a few saints and seers. It is our fundamental right to offer prayers, but we agreed to reduce the scale in view of administration’s request and they also cooperated,” said Dr. Jain.
VHP sources said the outfit had submitted a list of around 200 leaders and workers of various outfits to be part of the procession, but the administration reduced it around 40. Initially, Mr. Kumar and four others were allowed to reach Nalhar in their private vehicles, but were later persuaded to board a mini-bus.
Besides Mr. Kumar, VHP’s regional president Pawan Kumar, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) pracharak Vijay and the president of 52 pals (community organisations) Arun Jeldar were also part of the procession.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had on Sunday said that procession was not allowed and made an appeal to the people to offer prayers at temples in their neighbourhood.
Additional Director-General of Police, Law and Order, Haryana, Mamta Singh insisted that it was not a “procession” and the members of the Hindu outfits and some saints were only allowed to offer holy waters and prayers at the temples. “A few locals had insisted to go Nalhar temple in the form of a cavalcade, but they were not allowed and instead taken in mini-buses,” said Ms. Singh, referring to local workers of the Hindu outfits who were part of the procession.
Ms. Singh said the police in neighbouring districts were directed to prevent the mobilisation of violent groups identified through social media platforms planning to reach Nuh to disturb social and communal harmony. She said that people were taken into preventive custody in Nuh, Jind, Bhiwani and Sirsa.
With the prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in force in Nuh and the schools and banks ordered to remain closed as a precautionary measure, roads in the Muslim-dominated Nuh bore a deserted look as the markets also remained shut all through the day. The roads leading to Nuh from different districts of Haryana saw intense checking of vehicles with the police personnel at Gamroj toll plaza in Gurugram noting down the mobile numbers, names, and other details of the passengers. Deputy Commissioner of Police, South Gurugram, Siddhant Jain, said vehicle checking was being carried out since Sunday evening.