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RSS-backed blockade over temple demolition in Rajasthan

 Hindu outfits backed by RSS staged a two-hour road blockade on Thursday morning to press for restoration of temples razed for construction of Metro here and threatened to launch an agitation if their demands are not met within a week.

PTI| Updated: Jul 09, 2015, 19:44 PM IST

Jaipur: Hindu outfits backed by RSS staged a two-hour road blockade on Thursday morning to press for restoration of temples razed for construction of Metro here and threatened to launch an agitation if their demands are not met within a week.

Several ruling BJP MLAs and their supporters too joined the blockade, which started from 9 AM giving a harrowing time to thousands of commuters especially office-goers who were stuck in traffic jams.

Mandir Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, an umbrella organisation steering the protest, warned the Vasundhara Raje government of fresh agitation if their demands including re-establishment or relocation of temples are not met.

"Our successful 'Chakka Jam' in the state capital is a significant warning to the BJP government that it should take action on the charter of demands within the next seven days which includes re-establishment of important temples in the walled city and punishing the guilty officers," Badri Narayan Choudhary, Convenor of MBSS and an RSS functionary, said.

MBSS will hold a special meeting after seven days and finalise its strategy for a new agitation if the 8-point demands were not met by the state government, he said.

Police today said that the 'chakka jam' protest was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported.

"Law and order situation remained under absolute control and the jam was peaceful. No emergency vehicle was stranded. Additional policemen were deployed who cleared the traffic after 11 AM," Mahendra Singh, Additional Commissioner of Jaipur Police, said.

There were massive jams due the blockade at around 80 key places including Rambagh circle, Ajmeri gate, MI Road, government hostel, Chomu pulia, Sanganer and Sodala.

Choudhary said they were not doing politics over religion but the action of razing temples has hurt the sentiments of Hindu community.

"Our protest is against razing of 73 temples in the name of development and metro rail construction in the city," he said, adding that they have demanded re-establishment or relocation of these temples.

Asked whether MBSS would hold talks with the state government to find an amicable solution of this issue, he said, "We do not go without any invite. So far no one contacted us for any dialogue."

BJP MLAs Narpat Singh Rajvi, Ghanshyam Tiwari, Phoolchand Bhinda, Surendra Pareek, some councillors, former spokesperson of BJP Kailash Nath Bhatt and RSS members were among those who participated in the protest.

"People agree with the demands. There is resentment among people against demolition and shifting of ancient temples. Therefore people supported the call," Narpat Singh Rajvi, who represents Vidhyadhar Nagar constituency in Jaipur, told PTI.

He participated with volunteers in the blockade at Vidhyadhar Nagar. MLA from Hawamahal Surendra Pareek was at Jorawar Singh gate while Sanganer MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari was in his constituency.

On the involvement of RSS and BJP MLAs in the stir, Choudhary said, "MBSS was engaged in protest against Rajasthan government's move to remove and shift the temples to other places right from the day one".

"Hindu organisations (VHP and RSS) supported the agitation in the past too. We do not identify workers and supporters on the party lines, whether they are MLA or Minister. We received overwhelming public response in this mission," he claimed.

Activists burnt an effigy at Choti Chaupad and offered flowers at the place from where Rojgareshwar Mahadev temple was shifted due to Jaipur Metro rail project in the walled city area.

Former BJP spokesperson Kailash Nath Bhatt, who last month voiced his opinion against security cover provided to RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat and later resigned, was at Ajmeri gate.