Lucknow : The entire top leadership of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) was Sunday arrested in the temple town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh as they tried to proceed for “Saryu Pujan”, ahead of the “84 kosi parikrama yatra”.
The yatra, set to begin from the banks of River Saryu, had earlier been banned by the Akhilesh Yadav government.
While Mahant Nritya Gopal Das was detained with 100 supporters and followers after he set out from his ashram for Saryu Pujan, marking the beginning of the yatra, Pravin Togadia was arrested from outside the Satguru Sharan temple.
Police had a tough time as supporters of the VHP leader raised anti-government slogans and tried to prevent the police from whisking Togadia away.
Senior VHP leader Ashok Singhal was arrested at the Chowdhary Charan Singh Amausi international airport in Lucknow, and was not even allowed to come out of the airport.
The district officials told him that he cannot proceed towards Ayodhya. Officials told IANS that the state government had instructed police officials to arrest him at the airport and ask him to fly back to New Delhi by the 1 p.m. flight.
Togadia, meanwhile, told reporters that the state government was depriving the community of ascetics their basic religious rights by clamping down on the proposed yatra.