The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) today justified the arms training camps being organised by several right-wing groups like the Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini in various parts of the country. In a statement issued here, the VHP said that training camps are being held as part of “our routine organisational activities” in all states for last 28 years.
Surendra Jain, VHP’s joint general secretary, said that country’s “great civilization, culture, history and philosophical values are showcased in such camps”. “For the purpose of developing mental, intellectual as well as physical values, yoga, drills and target-practice are included in such camps,” he said in the statement.
He added that one can see “such physical exercises” being carried out in many villages and towns across the country.
Several reports that have come to fore in recent times suggest that right-wing groups including the Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini have been organising arms training camps in different parts of the country.
Earlier this week, news agency ANI reported that the Bajrang Dal had organised an arms training camp in Bawara of Rajgarh district in Madhya Pradesh where activists were secretly given training on use of arms and other weapons. The camp was organised for a week where selected members from 32 districts of the state were trained how to use rifles, swords and lathis to deal with anti-national elements and love jihadis.
Also, the Durga Vahini had in Agra recently organised arms training camp to train women from different age groups. They were trained how to fire a rifle and other weapons in the name of self-defence. Durga Vahini is the women’s wing of the VHP. Several women participants had told ANI they learned about Hindu religion and how to use weapons.
Meanwhile, the Congress has slammed the government for its inaction in dealing with such elements. Party spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi said that government is reluctant on taking action against Bajrang Dal and Durga Vahini. “Do the people taking this training not have belief in our armed forces? The government should take immediate action against it.”