The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bihar bars entry of VHP leaders

Patna, Aug. 16: The Bihar government today bundled off VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore back to Delhi within minutes of his arrival, a day after sending back Praveen Togadia, apprehending breach of peace.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad vice-president Kishore was not even allowed to enter the airport terminal when he flew in here from Delhi today. He was scheduled to address a state-level VHP workers’ conference in Muzaffarpur.

District magistrate Dipak Prasad and senior police superintendent Sunil Kumar met Kishore at the tarmac and informed him of a government order barring his entry.

The VHP leader was asked to go back and handed a return ticket to Delhi.

As Kishore flew back, angry supporters held a dharna in front of the airport gate this afternoon. They had earlier called for a bandh, but it failed to have an impact as shops and other establishments remained open.

Yesterday, VHP international general secretary Praveen Togadia was packed off from Patna airport to Delhi.

Togadia was on his way to participate in Independence Day celebrations at a school in the communally-sensitive Phulwari Sharif area.

The Rashtriya Janata Dal had earlier threatened to present Togadia with snakes if he distributed trishuls in the state. Later, the administration banned him from entering the state.

The twin sendings-off have strained the RJD’s relations with the VHP.

RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav, who was in Pakistan earlier this week as part of an Indian delegation at a conference organised by the South Asia Free Media Association, said he would not tolerate communal politics in Bihar. He said other VHP leaders trying to enter the state would meet a similar fate.

“I am consistent since I had ordered the arrest of Lal Krishna Advani during his (1990) rathyatra in Bihar. Any Sangh Parivar leader trying to provoke people will be dealt with sternly according to the law,” Laloo Prasad said here today.

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