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Togadia distributes tridents to VHP and Bajrang Dal activists

February 18, 2003 17:20 IST

Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Praveen Togadia on Tuesday distributed tridents to VHP and Bajrang Dal activists at a 'Deeksha' [initiation] ceremony in Bhilwara district in Rajasthan, the Jaipur police said.

Togadia distributed the tridents even as the Congress government in the state is contemplating a ban on their distribution.

Although the organisers had announced that they would distribute tridents to 1,100 youths at the ceremony at Gulpura, less than a dozen activists received the Trishul directly from Togadia. The remaining activists were given the tridents after the ceremony by local organisers, police said.

Several sadhus were also present in the ceremony attended by members of VHP, Bajrang Dal and other Hindu organisations.

The police are keeping a close watch over the movement of Togadia in the state as he is touring the communally sensitive areas, sources said.

Several human rights and other organisations, including the People's Union for Civil Liberties are putting pressure on the government to ban 'Trishul deeksha' ceremonies.

BJP member of the state assembly Madan Dilawar, however, strongly opposed the government's proposal to ban distribution of the tridents in a statement saying it would hurt religious sentiments of the Hindus, as the trishul was a symbol a god for them.

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