13 Nov 2002
EC BANS VHP YATRA IN GUJARAT
From Jal Khambata
NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Wednesday banned the proposed VHP Yatra from Friday for reviving memories of the Godhra train burning and directed the Gujarat Government to take legal steps and send to jail anybody violating the ban to prevent any communal buldup.
The order was passed prohibiting the Yatra after Gujarat's Home Secretary Nityanandan submitted a report to the Commission in response to a directive given by Chief Election Commissioner James Lyngdoh for a report on the VHP's proposed Yatra during his visit to Ahmedabad on Monday.
"The Commission has noted with utmost concern the report of state administration in Gujarat conveying that there is every likelihood of communal tension and passion getting exacerbated by the proposed yatra planned by VHP from November 15," the Commission in a press note said.
The Election Commission said the state administration should adopt strongest measures to ensure nobody is allowed to create tension that affects the upcoming Assembly elections in Gujarat. In its report, the Gujarat Government had pointed out that the VHP Yatra may not only raise the communal tension but there was possibility of even riots. END