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VHP demands suspension of cops who baton-charged activists

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 20:33

Ahmedabad: Condemning the police lathi charge on its activists, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Wednesday demanded that the policemen involved in it should be suspended immediately.

"There are no words to describe the inhuman act of Gujarat police. Police picked up and beat VHP activists as if they were terrorists," Swami Akhileshdas of the VHP told media persons here.

City police had yesterday arrested a local VHP leader and eight other activists over the attack on an art gallery featuring paintings of some Pakistani artists.

"What has the government done even after 24 hours of the incident? They have not taken action against anyone. The police officials involved in the incident should be suspended immediately," he said.

"If no action is taken within three days, we will organise demonstrations in every district which will be backed by nationwide protests," he added.

VHP international general secretary Pravin Togadia had condemned the arrests and without naming anyone said it was a "political move" to garner votes. Togadia had also conveyed his protest over the arrests to BJP president Rajnath Singh.

The arrests led to angry protests in the evening by VHP activists which prompted the police to resort to a lathicharge on them. The right-wing organisation claimed that six of its workers sustained injuries in the baton charge even as Togadia accused police of using "brutal force" to break a "peaceful agitation".

Meanwhile, police said they were forced to disperse the VHP workers who were protesting aggressively and blocking access to police commissionerate, and arrested six of them.

Commenting on the initial incident, Akhileshdas said the activists had vandalised the art show at `Amdavad ni Gufa` because it was displaying works of Pakistani artists at a time when the neighbouring country is beheading our soldiers.

"Can`t we protest against Pakistan in Gujarat? Akhileshdas asked, adding that police lathicharged activists even though they were staging a silent protest against the arrest of nine of their members.

Stating that VHP was not against police, he said that it was the manner in which the activists were beaten and rounded up which angered the organisation.


First Published: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 20:33

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