By Ravindra Saini
With a view to awakening the people against the Maoist menace in Uttaranchal, the state unit of Hindu Jagaran Manch (HJM) organised a statewide padyatra recently. Raising slogans like ?ISI and Maoists: We have to fight against both, Pashupatinath ki jai, Badri Vishal ki jai?, etc., the yatra began from Dharchula in Pithoragarh district and covering distance of over 200 kms concluded at Mellaghat in Udham Singh Nagar district. The yatra passed through Jolljivi, Balvakot, Pithoragarh, Jhulaghat, Lohaghat, Mandalak, Chamdeol, Pulla, Degalisoud, Champawat, Banwasa and Tanakpur.
During the yatra, the Manch activists sought the cooperation of people in eradicating the Maoist menace and gave the message of love, co-operation and brotherhood. The Manch has chalked out a strong strategy to fight against the activities of Maoists and ISI and plans to seek the co-operation of ex-servicemen for this cause. The Manch will organise training camps to impart training to activists. Most of the districts of Uttaranchal are considered sensitive to these activities, as several undesirable activities of Maoists and ISI have been reported in the past also.
Talking to Organiser, Shri Rajendra Bhandari, state organising secretary, said that such activities cannot be restrained unless the people of the state are aroused against them. He said the Manch wanted the people, settled on the border with Nepal after 1971, to be certified. He said it is essential to tell the people of Nepal that India is not encouraging the Maoists in Nepal but the Maoists want to disturb the cultural, economical and religious relations of India with Nepal. He said the Islamic fundamentalists had already spread the net of madarsas on the 1,752 km-long border. He appealed to the people of the state to keep vigil on the activities of ISI and Maoists. A number of public meetings were organised during the yatra. Shri Kuldip Kumar, convenor of the yatra, said that China and Islamic countries were trying to make the Hindutva forces weak and what is more, the state administration had failed to crack down on the possible Maoist hideouts in any part of the state. ?The government needs to act firmly to weed out Maoist element from the region,? he added.