eddate=6%2f10%2f2011ack to Headlines
Why has VHP chosen
Pirana for its meet, ask villagers
Meeting coinciding with Bakr-Id can cause conflict in area, they say
Satish Jha l Ahmedabad
Pirana, a sleepy
village 25 km from Ahmedabad city, is worried that Bakr-Id on
November 7 this year may not pass off peacefully.
The village has an
almost equal number of Hindus and Muslims, which seems but natural
as the 600-year-old dargah (shrine) of Sufi saint Imam Shah Baba is
located here. The saint had devotees from both the communities and
his dargah is still visited by Hindus as well as Muslims.
However, despite its tradition of Hindu-Muslim amity, Pirana's
fragile peace is again under threat. From November 5, the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad (VHP) is organising a three-day conference - called 'Dharm
Prasar Akhil Bharatiya Karyakarta Sammelan' - in the village. The
VHP has decided to lodge people coming for the conference at the
dargah of the Sufi saint while the conference itself will be held at
the village's Gurukul School which is run by the RSS.
Peace loving residents of the village are afraid that there may be
conflict at the dargah on November 7, the day of Bakr-Id. l
conference sparks fears of communal tension at Pirana
Dargah representatives request shifting of venue as conference
coincides with Bakri Eid
during the upcoming conference being organised by the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad at Pirana, the members of local the Imam Shah Baba Roja
Sanstha trust, has made a request to the local authorities for
shifting the venue to some other place.
VHP has planned to hold a conference at Pirana on November
5, 6 and 7 in which around 2,500 members are expected to take part.
The conference will be
held at Gurukul School but the visitors will stay at the dargah, the
seat of sufi saint.
Besides a high turn
over of participants, it is this arrangement which is said to be the
bone of contention.
Descendant of the
dargah’s priest Azhar Saiyed said that the members of the trust have
decided to give a fresh representation to the local authorities on
November 3, suggesting that the venue of conference be shifted to
some other place.
“The conference has
been made to coincide with Bakri Eid which falls on November 7. A
similar situation had arisen in the past which had led to communal
tension,” he said.
Saiyed added that a
representation which apprised the local police authorities about the
event, was sent way back in June early this year.
It also mentioned that
the large number of participants could lead to a communal tension in
the area. However authorities did not take any steps.
“We are still hopeful
that authorities will take an appropriate action,” he said.
Meanwhile, the police
said that a proper assessment was being made to take stock of the
Togadia to address Pirana meet, cops plan increased security
VHP leader will speak at meeting on Nov 7, the day of Bakrid this
Satish Jha l
that Pravin Togadia will be speaking on the last day of the
three-day conference organized by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) at
Pirana village seems to have spurred the police into action. Togadia,
known for his allegedly 'inflammatory speeches', will be speaking on
November 7 which coincidentally also happens to be Bakrid day this
The Ahmedabad district police have instructed the organizers of the
conference as well as the trustees of the Sufi dargah located in the
village, not to do anything which could violate the sanctity of the
shrine. They have also asked the organizers to give in writing the
details of exactly what they plan to do during the three days of the
On Thursday, a team of police officials went to meet the dargah
trustees and asked them for details of all that they planned to do
during the three-day event. Sources in the police said that the
trustees agreed to give in writing the details sought by the police.
However, what could create trouble in the village is the fact that
around 30 members of the VHP will be staying at the dargah over the
three days of the conference.
"Considering the situation, we have asked the organisers to ensure
that the VHP members only stay at the dargah and not hold any event
there. Since the shrine is a symbol of communal harmony, we have
asked the organisers not to do anything which may be seen as a
violating the sanctity of the shrine," said Rajiv Ranjan Bhagat,
superintendent of police, Ahmedabad (rural).