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Varanasi idol immersion row: UP govt orders magisterial probe

Under fire over alleged police lathicharge on outfits, who were prevented from immersing Ganesha idols into Ganga River here, the Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.



Varanasi: Under fire over alleged police lathicharge on outfits, who were prevented from immersing Ganesha idols into Ganga River here, the Uttar Pradesh government has ordered a magisterial probe into the incident.

"@UP Govt orders magisterial inquiry in the #Varanasi lathicharge..." UP Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav tweeted yesterday.

A statement issued by office of the Varanasi Divisional Commissioner Nitin Ramesh Gokaran said that the administration has asked?Additional District Magistrate of Gazipur district, Murlidhar Mishra to probe the incident and submit his report within a month.

It has also directed Varanasi district magistrate Rajmani Yadav to draw plan for the probe, the statement said.

Members of 'Sri Kashi Maratha Ganesha Utsav Samiti' and various other religious outfits staged a dharna here from September 21 till 23 against preventing them from immersing the Ganesha idols into Ganga in view of the Allahabad High Court's decision.

The High Court had ordered for ban of idol immersion in Ganga to curb polluting of the river. The imposition was relaxed, especially for Varanasi for a year due to its geographical area. The relaxation ended this year.

The dharna was called off after alleged police action on the devotees. The outfits claimed that the police forcefully took away their idols and immersed them in a nearby Lakshmi-Kund (pond).

The incident left over two dozen people injured.

An FIR was filed against nearly 24 people and several other unidentified persons for violating section 144 of CRPc, rioting and stone pelting.

Ten people associated with the Sri Kashi Maratha Ganesh Utsav Samiti, a religious group participating in the protest, were arrested on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Allahabad High Court issued notices to the district administration yesterday on a petition filed by a Varanasi-based doctor Dharmendra Kumar Pandey on the grounds that the administration failed to make arrangements for immersion of idols in places other than Ganga.

The court asked why they should not face contempt proceedings while directing the administration to ensure peace and tranquillity in the area.

Hearing the petition, Justice Ram Vijai Singh issued notices to the respondents-Principal Secretary (Urban Planning and Development), Varanasi District Magistrate and Senior Superintendent of police. Swami Avimukteshwaranand, who was discharged from a

local hospital yesterday, expressed his displeasure over the incident and said that a 'Dharm Sansad' would be convened soon in the temple town to press for their demand of immersion of deity idols in the river.

Meanwhile, state Tourism Minister Om Prakash Singh, local BJP leaders including MLC Laxman Acharya, Congress MLA Ajay Rai, Varanasi Divisional Commissioner and other political leaders met Avimukteshwaranand at his Vidya Math here yesterday.

Expressing concern over the incident, BJP national president Amit Shah has sought a report from his local unit about the incident and directed State co-in-charge Sunil Ojha?to visit Varanasi.

Ojha convened a meeting with party leaders and legal cell bearers yesterday at the BJP district unit office at Gulab Bagh and said that the high court had clearly given instructions to district officials to take in consideration the logical demands of puja organisers.

He added that the entire incident could have been avoided, if force was not applied by the police to disperse the protesting devotees.

Some local Congress leaders also staged their protest against the incident by burning the effigies of PM Narendra Modi and CM Akhilesh Yadav.

From Zee News

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