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Bajrang Dal leader Mahesh Sharma arrested over 'self defence' camp
Thursday May 26, 2016 10:55 AM, Agencies

Ayodhya (Uttar Pradesh): A Bajrang Dal leader, Mahesh Sharma, was arrested last night in connection with annual 'self defence' camp conducted in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya.

Sharma has been charged with hurting religious sentiments of the Muslim community and spreading communal hatred.

The arrest comes after an FIR against unidentified Bajrang Dal workers was lodged at the Ayodhya police station late on Tuesday night.

Earlier on May 14, a 'self-defence' camp was organised at Karsevakpuram, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) workshop in Ayodhya.

In the video that went viral on Monday, volunteers wearing skull caps were reportedly seen brandishing firearm, swords and lathis.

In the annual self-defence camp, the Bajrang Dal cadres are trained to use rifles, swords and sticks so that they can 'protect the Hindus'.

Similar camps would be held till June 5 in Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Pilibhit, Noida and Fatehpur cities in the state.

The cadres can be seen killing men dressed as Muslims during the mock drill.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) had on Wednesday castigated the self defence camp organised by a right-wing group Bajrang Dal and questioned the silence of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on the matter.

The CPI-M while expressing anguish over support extended to the arm training camp by Governor Ram Naik, also urged President Pranab Mukherjee to take action.

"I don't know why the Akhilesh Yadav government is silent. What is more shocking is the defence of the Governor. He is bound to uphold the constitution. I urge the Rashtripati Bhavan to investigate the matter and take appropriate action. It is absolutely condemnable if the Governor will patronise such activities", CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat said.

Other community leaders including those belonging to the Hindu community had also expressed concern over the Bajrang Dal arm training camp. Some had even said the Hindutva extremist groups are working to create "Syria and Libya" like situation in India.

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