The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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VHP calls Bharat bandh

New Delhi, Sept. 24 (PTI): The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has called a Bharat bandh on Thursday in protest against the attack on the Swaminarayan temple in Gandhinagar even as the RSS urged the people of Gujarat to maintain peace and not fall prey to the designs of anti-national terrorists.

“The VHP and Bajrang Dal have decided to observe Bharat bandh against the attack and jihadi terrorism. Only health services would be exempt from the purview of the bandh,” VHP secretary and in-charge of Bajrang Dal Surendra Jain said from Rohtak.

In Kanpur, parishad president Ashok Singhal described the temple attack as “more serious” than the Godhra carnage and said such actions would recur if timely measures were not taken.

Jain said “pseudo secularists who attack the Sangh parivar instead of jihadi terrorists with a view to appease the Muslims” were responsible for it.

VHP central secretary Veereshwar Dwivedi said today’s raid was reminiscent of the attack on the Somnath temple and was a continuation of the Godhra episode. “The attack is an onslaught on the sovereignty of the Indian nation and all nationalists should rise to the occasion and crush such activities,” he said.

Condemning the attack as “reprehensible”, RSS joint spokesman Ram Madhav said: “We see a sinister motive behind this attack. It is aimed at disturbing peace and harmony. It is an attempt to flare up communal passions. We call upon the people of Gujarat not to fall prey to the designs of anti-national terrorists and maintain peace in the state.”

“We also expect both the Central and state governments to take stern action against the perpetrators of this heinous act,” he added.

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