VHP men held for vandalising art gallery, Togadia slams it
Ahmedabad: Police on Tuesday arrested city VHP joint secretary and eight other activists for allegedly vandalising an art gallery where paintings of some Pakistani artists were being exhibited, which enraged the right wing organisation.
Vishwa Hindu Parishad international general secretary Pravin Togadia condemned the arrest of nine right-wing activists and also conveyed this to BJP president on micro-blogging site twitter.
Without taking any name, Togadia alleged that this was a political move for getting votes.
"Opposing Pak artists exhibition in Ahmedabad when Pak killing our army: a crime? Bajrang Dal, VHP workers picked up by police for votes!" Togadia said in his tweet.
He also conveyed his protest to BJP national president Rajnath Singh as he tagged his post to him while informing him about the arrests.
"Early morning 2.45 am Gujarat police picked up VHP city joint secretary Jwalit Mehta from his residence. Bajrang Dal-VHP had organised a protest against an exhibition of Pakistan artists` paintings," he said in the tweet.
"We are not against arrest as such, but on the way the arrests were made on the day of major Hindu festival of Raksha Bandhan. The police picked them up from their homes at midnight," VHP state unit general secretary Ranchhod Bharwad said.
Local police, in an early morning drive arrested nine VHP-Bajrang Dal activists, including VHP city joint secretary Jwalit Mahta and booked them for rioting and other offences.
On August 16, around 20 VHP and Bajrang Dal activists vandalised an art gallery, Amdavad ni Gufa, where some paintings by artists from Pakistan were on display.
The gallery, established jointly by world renowned painter MF Hussain and noted architect BV Doshi, was the venue for 17 paintings on display since August 13, which included 11 paintings of artists from Pakistan.
Raveendra Maradia, organiser of the exhibition, lodged a complaint at the Gujarat University police station against some unidentified persons for vandalising the gallery and tearing the paintings.
"Around 3 am today morning, we picked up Jwalit Mehta and eight others in connection with the incidence at the art gallery and they will be produced before a court within 24 hours of their arrest," police inspector VM Salar said.
An offence has been registered against all the nine accused under relevant sections, he added.
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