An FIR has been registered against Bajrang Dal under section 153A of the Indian Penal Code (promoting enmity between different groups) after videos and photographs surfaced of the saffron cadres brandishing rifles, swords and even lathis (sticks) in camps against volunteers wearing skull caps, reports ANI.
Right-wing outfit Bajrang Dal organised a 'self defence' camp in Ayodhya to impart training in weapons to saffron cadres, an exercise which Uttar Pradesh Governor Ram Naik on Tuesday virtually defended.
FIR registered against Bajrang Dal u/s 153A IPC (promoting enmity b/w diff groups),matter being investigated-Sankalp Sharma,SP City Faizabad
— ANI (@ANI_news) May 25, 2016
"This arms training is for the purpose of self defence. There should not be any objection from any quarter. The intention behind this exercise is what counts," Ram Naik said while replying to the queries of the media.
Naik was speaking on the sidelines of the annual function of the Saraswati Vidya Mandir school at Atrauli, about 30 kilometres from Ayodhya.
Seeking to allay apprehension on the on the issue of arms training camps, Naik said, "Those who cannot defend themselves, cannot ultimately defend the country and there is nothing wrong if some youth are getting arms training purely for self defence".
The radical group is of the view that martial art and weapon training was needed as it could not rely on the police and politicians to protect the Hindu community from the alleged threat that they face.
The annual 'self defence' camp of the right-wing outfit, which was organised in Ayodhya, is now scheduled to be held in Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Pilibhit, Noida and Fatehpur, sources in Bajrang Dal, which is the youth wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), said.
Bajrang Dal has faced allegations of rioting and violence against religious minorities. The outfit has also been accused of running vigilante cow-protection programmes.
Meanwhile, Bajrang Dal has defended its action and said that the training was imparted to generate nationalistic feeling among the youth.
"In Bajrang Dal, these all are done to build character and generate nationalistic feeling among the youth. There are different programmes, some are for the physical well-being whereas others are for mental well-being.
We train men to protect and help women. Other communities are welcome to do this, Ravi Anant, a VHP leader, said.
However, Samajwadi party slammed the training sessions and termed it as a "terrorist training".
"Such kind of mock drills can be conducted only by government agencies. Now organisations are conducting these in their own way, like we see ISIS, Hizbul Mujahideen and naxals doing it. I see this as a terrorist training," Syed Asim Waqar," SP spokeperson said.
Watch the video below:
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: May 25, 2016 11:04 AM