VHP-BJP protest affects road, railway traffic across India

August 13th, 2008 - 6:20 pm ICT by ANI  

Amarnath Shrine

New Delhi, Aug 13 (ANI): Road and railway traffic in several parts of the country was affected on Wednesday after Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activists blocked them as part of their protest against the Amarnath land row.
The protest that lasted for two hours from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., left many office goers stranded and also affected vehicular movement across the country.
VHP General Secretary Pravin Togadia today demanded the immediate transfer of the forest land to the Shrine Board, warning that not doing so could culminate into a nationwide movement on the lines of ”Chalo Ayodhya”.
Earlier, VHP activists took to the streets calling for the revocation of the land transfer order. They shouted slogans against Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra and threatened to step up their protests in case the demand of the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board was not met.
In Jalandhar, protesters shouted slogans and blocked railway and road traffic.
“Today, we are protesting against the order of taking back the land from the shrine board. We have organised this road blockade for two hours,” said Rajesh Kumar, one of the protesters.
Protesters also stood on the engines of the trains and squatted on railway tracks.
The situation was no different in Ahmedabad, where protesters had to be taken away by the police.
“We are observing this protest called by the VHP to support the Amarnath Sangarsh Samithi, said Kaushik Mehta, VHPs Ahmedabad General Secretary.
Reports of traffic being disrupted also came from Jharkhand, Patna and Haryana.
Hundreds of BJP, VHP activists were arrested in Nasik and Chennai as they took part in the nationwide ”chakka jam”.
BJP Tamil Nadu unit president L Ganesan, senior leader S Thirunavukkarasar and VHP leader R B V S Manian were among those arrested when they tried to stage the blockade at the busy Anna Salai in Chennai, official sources said.
However, officials maintained that the protest was peaceful.
The dispute began after the State Government had promised to give the forestland to the SASB. Many Muslims organisations in the Kashmir Valley were enraged, forcing the Government to back out on its decision. This in turn enraged Hindus, and they launched a massive agitation in the Jammu region. The agitation has been on for over six weeks. (ANI)

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