Vehement protests have surfaced in Tamil Nadu against a ‘Ram Rajya Rath Yatra’ seeking a temple for Lord Ram in Ayodhya.
The procession is being led by Sri Rama Dasa Universal Society, a religious body based in Maharashtra. It is currently passing through Nagarcoil in Tamil Nadu, after passing through Madurai and Rameshwaram in the state.
The DMK, VCK, MDMK and others have been strongly opposing the AIADMK government for allowing the procession to pass through Tamil Nadu.
- There have been over 121 anticipatory arrests, before the rally entered Tamil Nadu
- Over 940 police personnel have been deployed so far
Yatra Breached Motor Vehicles Act: TN Officials
The using of an altered vehicle as a model for the proposed Ram Mandir was a violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1998 said the Tamil Nadu officials, reported The Hindu.
State Transport Authority officials reportedly told the newspaper that the rath did not come under the class of transport or non transport vehicle.
"If it were a registered vehicle, the number plate should have been displayed in the front, rear and sides prominently. If the chassis/engine belonged to a goods carrier, transporting passengers, sadhus in this case, was not permitted." - Official to The Hindu
Stalin & Allies Will Now Lose Hindu Support: H Raja
BJP National secretary, H Raja on Wednesday said that DMK leader M K Stalin and his allies who have been protesting the yatra, will now lose the support and votes of the Hindu population who wished for Ram Rajya to be established in the country.
Speaking about how even Mahatma Gandhi wanted to established a ‘Rama Rajya’ in the country, he added that despite the best attempts made by Stalin and other leaders heading the protests, they only managed to give the yatra greater publicity.
Raja also lauded the state police and the AIADMK government for providing efficient security to the yatra.
Rama Rajya Rath Yatra Reaches Rameswaram
The Rama Rajya Rath Yatra reached its final destination, Rameswaram, on Wednesday evening, where it was given a rousing welcome by cadres of the BJP and several Hindu outfits, reports PTI.
Before this, the yatra had traversed through Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Madurai districts amid tight security, in light of the protests initiated by various pro-Tamil and Muslim outfits to block it through its journey.
Once in Rameswaram, the rath went around the famous Lord Ramanathaswamy temple, following which a public meeting was conducted, where leaders of the VHP and other Hindu outfits addressed the large gathering that had accumulated, the report added.
Rama Rajya Rath Yatra Reaches Madurai
Vishwa Hindu Parishad-backed Rama Rajya Rath Yatra reaches Madurai in Tamil Nadu.
Over 300 Arrested
Police on Tuesday said that over 300 persons, including Thirumavalavan of VCK and Jawahirullah of MMK, had been arrested for violating ban orders and proceeding to block the yatra.
According to Times of India, all the arrested people were taken to marriage halls.
'Unbecoming of the Congress to Join DMK in Protest': Panneerselvam
Slamming the Congress over the protests against the ‘Ram Rajya Rath Yatra’, Tamil Nadu deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam said:
"It is unbecoming of the Congress party to join the DMK in this protest. You have a history, tradition and path of your own. Getting up as and when the DMK gets up does not do you any good." - O Panneerselvam
DMK Working President MK Stalin Arrested
The police arrested DMK working president MK Stalin, after he questioned the government over the Ratha Yatra being given permission to enter Tamil Nadu.
After he stated that he was dissatisfied with the answer, the house went into uproar, and the DMK staged a walk-out.
Stalin then sat on the road and sloganeered against the government for supporting 'evil' of communal violence. He and his party members were subsequently arrested.
Thamimul Ansari, MMK’s MLA from Nagapattinam, said:
"Why is Section 144 imposed on protestors? It should be imposed on those conducting the rally. This goes against the teachings of Periyar, MGR, Selvi Jayalalithaa. They cannot be allowed to enter and disrupt the peace and secular harmony of Tamil Nadu." - Thamimul Ansari, MLA, MMK
Section 144 Imposed, Tight Security and Arrests
Sandeep Nanduri, the collector of Tirunelveli district (South Tamil Nadu) had imposed Section 144 from 6 pm on 19 March to 6 am on 23 March in the district.
This is in anticipation of, and to avoid communal violence or possibility of disruption of public order.
Close to 1,000 police personnel have been deployed in Sengottai alone on Tuesday to maintain order. The convoy of the ‘chariot’ and cars are being led by police cars.
In anticipation of instigating the public, a number of political leaders from across the state have been placed under custody. Thirumavalavan (VCK), Jawahirullal (MMK) and Velmurugan (PMK) are three notable leaders.
MK Stalin (DMK) and Thirumavalavan (VCK) have been the loudest opponents of the rally’s entry to Tamil Nadu.
Ripples in Chennai
Members of the Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam have taken to the roads on Anna Salai, near the Hazrat Syed Dargah, in protest of the rally that they believe will lead to communal disharmony.
All of the leaders of the opposition parties, including MK Stalin (DMK), Thirumavalavan (VCK) and others believe that the rally is being conducted by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
In an interview to the media, AIADMK spokesperson Jayakumar denied any link between the Sri Rama Dasa Universal Society and the BJP, VHP or any other Hindutva political parties.
Politicians from literally every major political party in Tamil Nadu have expressed their views for and against the rally.
"When the matter is with the Supreme Court, why should there be a rally seeking a temple in Ayodhya? This must be stopped at all costs." - MK Stalin, Working President, DMK "What is Rama Rajya? Where will they establish it? Rama Rajya followed the Manusmriti to rule. Such a rule is not acceptable anymore. " - Thirumavalavan, Leader, VCK "The Ram Rajya Ratha Yatra has nothing to do with BJP. This is the land of Periyar. Just because there is one yatra, things won’t change here." - Jayakumar, Spokesperson and Minister, AIADMK "To allow this Ratha Yatra is equal to allowing a ‘Raktha Yatra’ (rally of blood). This must not happen." - Nanjil Sampath, orator, Former AIADMK member . Read more on India by The Quint.UP Rajya Sabha Elections: Voting Underway, BJP vs BSP-SP Heats UpIn Pics: Varun Dhawan Burns the Dance Floor With Shilpa Shetty . Read more on India by The Quint.