The activists of VHP, Bajrang Dal, RSS, ABVP, BJP and various other organisations under the banner of Shri Amarnath Sangharsh Samiti took to the streets across the country demanding restoration of land to Amarnath Shrine Board. Rail and road traffic across the country was badly hit. However, the vehicles heading to schools and hospitals were not stopped.
According to VHP general secretary Dr Pravin Togadia who was himself present at Shakarpur crossing in Delhi, the road blockade was done at more than 10,000 places including 1000 places in Uttar Pradesh and 1500 places in Rajasthan, across the country. Trains were stopped at more than 100 places and more than 1000 activists were arrested by the police. No incident of violence was reported from any place. The whole country in one voice democratically opposed the cancellation of land to the shrine Board from 9 am to 11 on August 13. ?Nobody should have any misconception and clearly understand that Hindu society will accept nothing short of the reversal of the illegal and immoral order,? said Dr Togadia while talking to Organiser in New Delhi.
He declared that if the government did not return the land to the Shrine Board the agitation would be accelerated. ?The Sangharsh Samiti has decided to tie the Shiv Raksha Bandhan on the writ of more than five crore people from August 16 to 18 at all cities and villages of the country. Carrying the cutouts of Baba Amarnath, the Shivbhaktas would move in all streets with drums and would also recruit people for the struggle. At the same the people of Jammu would start Jail Mein Raho Andolan from August 18. Now they would remain in jails till the land is restored to the Shrine Board. The government must make it clear whether it is with the people marching towards Muzaffarabad or with the people carrying the national flag,? Dr Togadia added.
He said the negotiation process could not be used as a tool to buy time and suppress the genuine feelings and aspirations of the people by undemocratic ways. Government must also put an immediate end to disgusting state repression being employed in complete contravention of the democratic norms.
In the national capital, VHP activists began protest at 9 am blocking roads in 22 places, including ITO, Moolchand, Dwarika, Pitampura and Deepali Chowk. In Chhattisgarh protestors laid siege to dozens of busy squares in capital Raipur besides bringing traffic to a halt at Bilaspur, Jagdalpur, Durg, Bhilai, Korba and Raigarh towns. Protestors squatted on national highway No 43, connecting Raipur to the Bastar region, as well as the Raipur-Bilaspur highway. South East Central Railway (SECR) officials said several trains were stuck at stations as activists of the VHP and the ruling BJP squatted on tracks at Bilaspur, Raigarh, Raipur and Durg districts. Trains plying on Mumbai-Howrah route were delayed the most.
In Himachal Pradesh the two-hour protest ended peacefully. In Varanasi the activists done road blockade at Andhrapur Bridge, which affected the whole city.