Stray violence marks VHP road blockade in Madhya Pradesh

August 13th, 2008 - 7:35 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Amarnath Shrine

Bhopal, Aug 13 (IANS) Office-goers and business people here had a harrowing time Wednesday due to road blockade called by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) over the Amarnath land transfer controversy. There were stray incidents of violence at a few places in Madhya Pradesh. People across the state faced problems as vehicular traffic came to a standstill from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at several places.

Though activists exempted schoolchildren from the blockadeh, they did not allow college students to go to their institutes. Those rushing patients to hospitals also had to suffer.

However, police officials said no untoward incident was reported from anywhere.

While an auto-rickshaw was set afire by VHP activists in Gwalior, at Dewas some youth beat senior advocate Ashok Kumar and damaged his car while he was going with his family. A delegation of advocates met senior police officers and demanded action against the guilty.

Satellite townships of Bhopal, including BHEL, Bairagarh and Kolar, remained cut off from this state capital as movement of traffic on connecting bridges was not allowed by the demonstrators.

Buses, taxis and private four-wheelers from elsewhere also were not able to enter the city since all entry points were nearly sealed by VHP activists.

“The agitation was successful in all major towns of the state, including Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior, Jabalpur, Ujjain, Chhindwara, Guna, Shivpuri, Hoshangabad, Khargone, Badwani and other places,” the VHP said in a press release.

The agitation was aimed to press the VHP demand for transferring 40 hectares of forest land back to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) for pilgrim facilities - an issue that has seen large-scale violent protests in Jammu as well as in Kashmir for the past two months.

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