April 14, 2016

India: VHP starts distributing 'Ram statuettes' to be installed in 100,000 villages in UP

The Times of India

Arshad Afzal Khan | TNN | Apr 13, 2016, 01.28 AM IST

Ayodhya: Throwing a challenge to the Uttar Pradesh government before the 2017 state assembly election, VHP has started the campaign for 'construction of Ram Mandir' in every village of the state. For this, the outfit has started distributing statuettes of Ram Darbar among its devotees from across state for getting them installed at their respective villages on the occasion of Ram Navami.

VHP has plans to install these statuettes in one lakh villages of the country. According to a VHP leader, the occasion of Ram Navami would be used to mobilize the masses to unite for the cause of Ram temple in Ayodhya.

The parishad started the distribution work on Monday at a function at its local headquarters Karsewakpuram. Mahant Kanhayya Das, the heir of Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the president of Ram Janmabhoomi Trust, was present on the occasion.

VHP spokesperson Sharad Sharma said that 350 statuettes of of Ram Darbar, sculpted in Chunaar and featuring Ram, Sita and Lakshman, were distributed on the opening day. The local Muslim community has reacted sharply to the development and demanded the state government must stop the installation of Ram Darbar in villages as it may trigger communal tension across the state. "It is a well planned conspiracy of VHP to pollute the communal atmosphere in the state and create riot-like situation. It must be stopped by the state government immediately," said Maulana Saalim, a senior Muslim cleric and president of Tamire Watan Foundation.