Guj: VHP event coinciding with Eid causes concern

Ahmedabad: Social activists here apprehend that communal tension may flare up at Pirana village on the outskirts of city where Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) will be holding three-day seminar starting from Saturday, which coincides with the Eid-ul-Azha (Bakra Eid) on November 6-7.

Activists including Teesta Setalvad of Citizen for Justice and Peace (CJP), Mallika Sarabhai and Harsh Mander have written a letter to Governor Kamla and DGP Chitranjan demanding their intervention in the matter and revoke the permission give to the VHP.

They have further sought that if it was not possible to revoke the permission, strict undertaking should be taken from the VHP to ensure peaceful conduct during the seminar, and observers be deployed at the venue along with Rapid Action Force (RAF).

The seminar is being organised by the Dharmprasar (Propagation of Religion) division of VHP at the Prerna Peeth, located near the shrine (dargah) of Imam Shah Baba, at Pirana.

"We are deeply disturbed by media reports that there may be attempts to provoke communal tension within the state of Gujarat," the letter written by social activists said.

"The fact that the festival of Bakri Eid falls on November 6-7 makes the intentions of the VHP all the worrisome and suspicious," they said.

Meanwhile, VHP general secretary Kaushik Mehta said their functions have been peaceful in the past and will remain the same.

"Our venue is about a kilometre away from the dargah, so how does it affect the peace," Mehta said.

Reacting to the letter written by activists, he said, "This is nothing but appeasement of Muslims and vote bank politics. We have been doing such seminars since 1960s. This is not the first time. How does it affect Eid in any way I can't understand," he added.