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BJP asked to get bulletproof raths for Advani
K G Suresh in New Delhi | March 24, 2006 18:46 IST
Last Updated: March 24, 2006 19:37 IST
The government has received 'credible inputs of threats from certain terrorist organisations' to the proposed twin National Integration Yatra by Leader of Opposition L K Advani and Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh from April six.
Following the receipt of specific intelligence, the Home Ministry has conveyed the threat perception to the party and asked it to ensure at the earliest 'proper bullet-proofing' of the raths (vehicles) proposed to be utilised for the yatra by both the leaders, sources told PTI.
"This has been done as both the yatras will be an attractive target for terrorist groups besides the fact that they would be passing through Naxal-affected areas," they said, adding that the ministry had asked governments of the states through which the yatras would pass to make comprehensive security arrangements.
Advani had announced the party's plans to undertake the twin yatra a day after the Varanasi bomb blasts with the objective of creating public awareness about the minority appeasement policies of the United Progressive Alliance government and the threat it posed to the nation's unity and integrity.
In a television interview last week, National Security Advisor M K Narayanan had said the government had received specific intelligence about threats to Advani in Uttar Pradesh during his proposed rath yatra.
In its communication to the BJP leadership, the government requested the party to make the detailed itinerary of both the Rath Yatras urgently available to the Home Ministry "In order to work out their security arrangements," the sources said.
The government also asked the party to instruct its nodal officials to keep the Home Ministry "fully apprised of the details of the proposed programmes of the two Rath Yatras."
While Advani is scheduled to commence his 'Yatra' from Gujarat after offering prayers at the Dwarakadheesh temple, the BJP chief is slated to begin his journey from Puri after paying obeisance at the Jagannath temple in Puri, Orissa.
The Leader of Opposition would traverse roughly 5,800 km in 26 days across 10 states - Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi.
Singh would cover approximately 5,000 km over 24 days in 22 states, including Orissa, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan and Haryana. Both Yatras would skip the five poll-bound states and the north-east but the leaders would take breaks in between to campaign in those states.
The twin yatras which would begin on 'Ram Navami' and party's foundation day on April 6 would conclude on May 10, the 149th anniversary of India's First War of Independence.