Tamil Nadu govt stops BJP’s Vel Yatra, detains state president

The Tamil Nadu Police on Friday detained BJP state chief L Murugan for launching the statewide ‘Vel Yatra’ despite being refused permission in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, the AIDMK government had informed the Madras High Court that it will not allow BJP to hold the yatra.

Government issued order against the gathering of the crowd to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infections as reasons for denying permission to the BJP. Opposition parties DMK, VCK and CPIM had protested against the saffron party’s yatra.

Opposition leaders said the Vel Yatra is an attempt by BJP to consolidate Hindu votes in the state and it will create communal hatred in Tamil Nadu.

“The BJP is trying to instigate violence and flare up communal tension through the yatra. Therefore, permission should not be given for the event,” VCK chief Thol Thirumavalavan MP said.

The month-long rally, visiting several abodes of Lord Muruga and modelled on the rath yatra, was scheduled to begin on 6 November from Tiruttani temple, and culminate at Tiruchendur temple on 6 December.

BJP state chief Murugan told reporters that he has the constitutional right to worship, and he will be heading to Tiruttani.

BJP TN leaders also threatened to hold a statewide protest if they were stopped.

They said that the yatra will bring back the spiritual rights of the state that will make a change in the politics.