Security tightened, outsiders barred from entering Haryana’s Nuh after ‘shobha yatra’ call

Nuh (Haryana):¬†Outsiders will be barred from entering Nuh and security has been beefed up in the district and other areas in view of the Sarv Jatiya Hindu Mahapanchayat’s call for a ‘shobha yatra’ on Monday, despite the authorities denying permission for the procession.

Officials said police and paramilitary forces have been deployed to keep a strict vigil while security at inter-state and inter-district borders has also been tightened.

As a precautionary measure, the Nuh district administration has already ordered the closure of educational institutions and banks on Monday, suspended mobile Internet and bulk SMS services, and imposed prohibitory orders in the communally-sensitive district.

It has also imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC, preventing the assembly of four or more people in an area, till Monday.

Communal clashes had erupted in Nuh and its adjoining areas after a Vishva Hindu Parishad procession was attacked by a mob on July 31 leading to the death of six people, including two home guards and a cleric.

On August 13, the Sarv Jatiya Hindu Mahapanchayat gave a call to resume the Brij Mandal Shobha Yatra in Nuh on August 28 which was disrupted by the communal clashes in July.

The Vishva Hindu Parishad has said the procession will be taken out and asserted that there is no need to obtain permission for such religious events. However, the authorities have denied permission for the yatra.

Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday asked devotees to offer prayers at temples in their neighbourhood on Monday instead of holding any ‘yatra’. Permission has not been granted for the ‘yatra’, he said.

“Instead of a ‘yatra’, people can visit temples in their areas for ‘jalabhishek’,” he said and asserted that it is the state government’s responsibility to maintain law and order.

August 28 is the last Monday of the holy month of Shravan.

A few locals said they have no objection to holding the religious procession if it is allowed but asserted that there should be no provocative sloganeering during the yatra.

Amit Gujjar, a resident of Nuh said he has no objection to holding the ‘yatra’ but it must be ensured that no slogans are raised during the procession that may hurt religious sentiments. Another local, Naseem Ahmed, said they will welcome the ‘yatra’ if it is allowed by the authorities.

Multiple layers of barricades have been erected by police at various points and vehicles entering Nuh were thoroughly checked by security personnel.

The Haryana chief minister is learnt to have held a meeting with Director General of Police (DGP) Shatrujeet Kapur in Chandigarh on Sunday to take stock of the situation. ADGP CID Alok Mittal was also present at the meeting.

Meanwhile, the Board of School Education, Haryana, on Sunday announced the postponement of the diploma in elementary education exam in Nuh. The exam, which was to take place on Monday, will now be held on September 4.

It said the decision to postpone the exam was taken in the wake of the imposition of prohibitory orders and the closure of schools in Nuh on Monday.

The government has also announced the suspension of mobile Internet from August 26 to 28.

Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order) Mamta Singh on Sunday said proper arrangements have been made to prevent any untoward incidents.

According to a police spokesperson in Nuh, 1,900 Haryana Police personnel and 24 companies of paramilitary forces have been deployed. No outsider will be allowed to enter Nuh. All entry points to the district have been sealed and the road leading to the Malhar temple has also been closed, said the spokesperson.

Traffic on the KMP Expressway and the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, however, will continue, the spokesperson added.

Meanwhile, the deputy commissioner of Nuh, Dhirendra Khadgata, deputed executive magistrates on duty at designated places on Monday in the wake of the call for the ‘shobha yatra’. He also appealed to the locals to cooperate with the district administration in maintaining law and order.

Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij said the police are fully alert.

Officials said Deputy Commissioner Khadgata and Superintendent of Police Narendra Bijarniya held a meeting with peace committees on Saturday.

Haryana police chief Kapur on Saturday said the administration has denied permission for the yatra due to a meeting of the G20 Sherpa Group, scheduled to be held in Nuh from September 3 to 7, and to maintain law and order in the aftermath of the July 31 violence.

He also presided over a meeting with senior officers of Punjab, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and the Union Territory of Chandigarh through video-conferencing and called for coordinated efforts to effectively deal with any emerging situation.

In another development, police said Ferozepur Jhirka MLA Mamman Khan has been sent a notice to join the investigation on August 30 in connection with the Nuh violence. Some Hindu organisations had accused Congress MLA Khan of making provocative statements.