UP Governor, Shiv Sena defend Bajrang Dal self-defence camp

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VHP and Bajrang Dal activists.
VHP and Bajrang Dal activists.

A police case, including motivating hatred along different religious groups, has been filed after a video showed Bajrang Dal activists training with sticks training at a self-defence camp.

Around 50 activists have been mentioned in the police complaint or FIR, said senior police officer Mohit Gupta.

The video was shot at a camp on 10 May at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, 135 km from Lucknow. The footage shows activists taking on and defeating volunteers in skull caps to represent terrorists. “Our security forces are adequate to fight the terrorists. No one should be worried about it,” said BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain.

It may be noted Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP). A VHP leader said they are trained to protect and help women. Other communities are welcome to do this.

According to Indian Express, UP Governor Ram Naik vehemently defended the Bajrang Dal camp. “Those who can’t cannot themselves, can’t defend the country and there is nothing wrong if some youth are imparted weapons raining for self defence.”

Brinda Karat of the Left rebuked the Governor, highlighting he should uphold the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Sanjay Raut of Shiv Sena asked how can the police lodge an FIR against the Bajrang Dal for disturbing peace, law and order and communal harmony.

“There are camps of Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Toiba in India. Do they take permission from the government? If the youth learn to fight and defend themselves, why is FIR lodged?” Raut told ANI.

It is only an election issue. The UP government should take steps carefully. “I welcome the UP Governor. Let the social organisations and political parties run their camps,” he added.

Similar camps would be held till June 5 in Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Pilibhit, Noida and Fatehpur cities in UP.