Uttarakhand Cabinet Minister and senior Congress leader Indira Hridayesh on Saturday condemned the alleged attack on Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Tarun Vijay by a mob when a Dalit leader and he visited a temple in Chakrata on Friday. She said strict action would be taken against those responsible.
Hridayesh, also said they did not have any information that the BJP MP would be visiting that place, otherwise they would have made some security arrangements.
“I am sad by the incident wherein Tarun Vijay was allegedly stone pelted by the mob. I strongly condemn such incidents. A proper action should be taken against them those who attacked him,” Hridayesh told ANI.
“But I think there is a lot of religious blindness in our nation. Our society is still so orthodox that lots of fights takes place in southern states and Maharashtra. There a lot of temples and mosques where women are not allowed to enter in the inner sanctum. I think to these problems, social solution is more important than a lawful solution,” she added.
“We have to have a will to solve this problem. We have to make people understand that all are equal before god and all have equal right to visit any religious place,” she further said.
Earlier in the day, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat visited Vijay in the hospital and assured that strict action will be taken in the matter, adding that nobody whatsoever can be stopped from going to a temple as God belongs to all.
“The DM and SSP are on the way to the spot of the crime. The commissioner will give me a firsthand report and we will take stringent action accordingly. People’s rights should be recognised and nobody can be stopped from going to a temple as God belongs to all,” Rawat told the media here before meeting Vijay.
Stating that he does not have any concrete solution to the problem of people remaining steadfast to the strict customs and traditions, the Chief Minister added that certain areas have problems when it comes to relaxing their norms.
“But we are persuading the people and changes can be seen. Public awareness also needs to be cultivated in the matter. Yes, customs should be respected, but you can’t stop someone from worshipping. I want to call on all religious leaders in the state to open the doors of their temples to people from all faith and also to the Dalits. After all, everyone is human,” Rawat said.
He further said that besides the guilty, those who were lax in taking any action from preventing the untoward incident would also not be spared.
A mob of at least 2,000 people started throwing stones at Vijay and Daulat Kunwar, a BSP leader from Chakrata, stepped out of the Silgur Devta temple at Punah-Pokhri village.
A few policemen were injured in the scuffle and two police vehicles were damaged.
Vijay was on a campaign to allow Dalits in the temples in the Jaunsar-Bawar region.