VHP demands ban on entry of non-Hindus to Kashi
Dubbing the explosion in Varanasi as "a heinous act of Jehadi terrorism", Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Tuesday demanded the holy city of Kashi be accorded the status of a "protected heritage site" and entry of non-Hindus into it be banned.
"It is the second time that a heinous act of Jehadi terrorism has been committed at the holy city of Varanasi on a Tuesday, a day held sacred by millions of Hindus. It was a Tuesday when the Sankatmochan temple was rocked by a bomb explosion and now there is a blast at a spot where the Ganga arati was underway", VHP international secretary general Praveen Togadia said in a statement.
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Image: Onlookers stand at the site of a blast in Varanasi
'What business do non-Hindus have at Kashi ghats?'
He said the government, which has been "defaming Hindus by coining phrases like Hindu terrorism", "must now show the courage to act tough and conduct a thorough search of the numerous mosques where jehadi elements have been taking shelter".
"What business do non-Hindus have at the ghats of Kashi and other places held sacred by the Hindus? When Hindus are not allowed inside Haj houses and mosques, why are people from other faiths allowed to roam freely around temples. All this has been allowed so far on account of the policy of Muslim appeasement adopted by the government", the firebrand VHP leader said.
Image: A holy man walks along the banks of the river Ganga in Varanasi
Photographs: Jorge Silva/Reuters
'Kashi must be declared a protected heritage site'
"The Vishwa Hindu Parishad demands that all the madrasas located at Kashi be immediately locked and premises of the mosques situated there be searched thoroughly," Togadia said.
"Besides, Kashi must be declared a protected heritage site and the entry of non-Hindus in the area should be prohibited", he said.
Image: Devotees gather to offer prayers on the banks of Ganga in Varanasi to celebrate Diwali
Photographs: Jitendra Prakash/Reuters