‘Non Hindus not allowed’ : Banners put up outside 150 Dehradun Temples
Banners have been put up in about 150 temples in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun stating that entry of non-Hindus is prohibited in the temple premises. The banners have been put up at temples situated in Chakrata Road, Suddhowala and Prem Nagar areas of Dehradun.
Hindu Yuva Vahini was quick to raise banners in over 150 temples in Uttarakhand’s Dehradun district, ‘banning the entry of non-Hindus’, after the brutal assault incident on the Muslim boy from Ghaziabad who was thrashed for drinking water at a temple.
The step is said to be in solidarity with Mahant Yati Narasinghanand Saraswati, the temple’s head priest, who had put up a similar poster in Ghaziabad’s Dasna, where the Muslim boy was beaten.
“Yeh teertha Hinduo ka pavitra sthal hai, ismein gair Hinduo ka pravesh varjit hai. (This site is a holy place for Hindus, the entry of non-Hindus is restricted),” the banner reads.
Sarita Dobhal, SP City, Dehradun, was contacted by the media to see whether the matter had raised any red flags. She said that she was unaware of the incident and that she would check it before responding to questions. The news of the posters had reached Pradeep Singh Rawat, but they had been deleted by the afternoon of March 21.
Upon approach by the quint team, Uttarakhand president of Hindu Yuva Vahini, 47-year-old Govind Wadhwa, laughed and said all the posters were still up.
According to Wadhwa, the movement began on March 20. Volunteers have already placed posters in 150-200 temples with the aid of residents, and the number is expected to rise during the next week. “Our idols are often destroyed, or people are seen peeing on Shiva idols; you would have seen all of this and how often it exists. Non-Hindus, not members of the Hindu faith, are the ones who do this. To shield ourselves from non-Hindus, we have erected such banners to ensure that non-Hindus do not enter and the temples’ sanctity is preserved.”
Upon asking if there have been any notable occurrences of vandalism of temple land, as stated as the explanation for the banners, Wadhwa, who owns a small shop in Dehradun, said, “This happens everywhere in India, not just here.” When asked whether there had been any recent incidents in Dehradun or Uttarakhand where non-Hindus had done anything unacceptable and whether FIRs had been filed in such situations, Wadhwa said, “Nothing like this has happened anywhere in Dehradun of Uttarakhand.” We’re doing it for the sake of safety, and we haven’t done anything wrong.”
These temples are situated in and around the areas of Chakrata Road, Suddhowala and Prem Nagar, Ghantaghar, Siddhuwala, areas of Dehradun.
Wadhwa said that this won’t stop at temples in Dehradun. “We have plans to put the same posters in the four significant temples across Uttarakhand. We are making a plan for this and are going to meet the CM of Uttarakhand soon.” Referring to Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath
Did you need permission to put up the posters? “Madam, to protect my home do I need permission from the police?” When asked who owned these temples, whether they were government-owned or by a private trust, he said, “This is the property of the Hindu community and does not belong to any one person. There is no issue regarding permissions here.”
Wadhwa clarified that this was not the same Hindu Yuva Vahini set up by UP CM Yogi Adityanath in 2002.
Following the incident, BSP’s Dhaulana Aslam Chaudhary said that the Dasna temple belonged to his ancestors and that the board would be dismantled. Following this argument, Wadhwa stated that they will place similar posters outside many more temples in Uttarakhand.