VHP shutdown over attack on BJP MP gets mixed response (Lead)

September 8th, 2008 - 8:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Lucknow, Sep 8 (IANS) A Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)-sponsored shutdown in eastern Uttar Pradesh to protest the alleged attack on the rally of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Yogi Adityanath saw business affected in many parts of the region Monday.Meanwhile, two people were arrested in connection with the killing of a man in the clashes that followed the attack on the BJP leader in Azamgarh district.

Adityanath’s convoy was attacked Sunday afternoon while he was returning from an “anti-terrorism Hindu awakening rally”.

“Piyush Singh and Dheeraj Singh were arrested for their involvement in the killing of Munnar Ahmed,” a police statement said Monday. Thirteen other people were arrested for unlawful assembly.

The administration Monday closed down schools and colleges in the eastern districts, or Poorvanchal area, for three days in view of the prevailing tension after Sunday’s attack.

The shutdown affected business and other activities in Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Ghazipur, Balia, Mau, Basti and Maharajganj districts of the Poorvanchal region, officials said.

A total of 139 people were arrested Monday in these districts and released later in the evening on bail.

A large number of police personnel, with paramilitary forces, have been deployed in the area.

“Four companies of the Provincial Armed COnstabulary have been deployed in the district,” inspector-general of police, Gorakhpur Range, Pravin Singh, told IANS by phone.

“Educational institutions in the entire region have been closed for three days to avoid any untoward incident,” Commissioner of Gorakhpur divison P.K. Mohanti told IANS.

Office bearers of the VHP reached Gorakhpur Monday and met the MP. The Hindu group has called an indefinite shutdown in the eastern districts to protest the attack.

“Our Hindu leaders are on the hit list of anti-national elements and we have called for a bandh to show them how united we are,” senior VHP official Mahavir Prasad told reporters in Gorakhpur Monday.

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