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Maharashtra: Bajrang Dal Allegedly Gave Weapons Training To Minors In Thane; VHP Workers Showcase Rifles, Swords In Pune Rally

The police have taken suo motu action against the VHP.

The right-wing Hindutva group Bajrang Dal allegedly gave weapon training to students, including minors at a Mira Road school in Mumbai from May 25-June 1. The Thane Police is investigating the matter after an NGO approached senior officials.

As per a report in The Hindu, members of the NGO Democratic Youth Federation of India on Wednesday approached Navghar police after a person named Prakash Gupta shared pictures of the training camp held at a school owned by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Narendra Mehta. Gupta had posted pictures of boys loading and handling rifles on the school campus. He had also mentioned in the post that the training was to be held from May 25 to June 1.

Democratic Youth Federation of India secretary Sanjay Pande claimed that some of the children seemed to be minors. He added that the police was initially not willing to pay heed to their complaint. The members of the NGO later met Sub Divisional Police Officer Atul Kulkarni on Friday, who assured them of taking “necessary action”, Pande told The Hindu.

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Speaking to The Hindu, Kulkarni said, “We contacted the organisers of the training camp and they claimed that they had requisite licences and permissions for the guns. We have asked them to produce the documents for examination. If any discrepancies are found, action will be taken accordingly.” No FIR has been filed against any person yet.

In a separate incident, members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) — another right-wing Hindutva group — allegedly brandished air guns and swords during a procession on Sunday in Nigdi in the Pimpri Chinchwad area near Pune. The local police have registered FIR against around 250 VHP members, including VHP local president Sharad Inamdar and district president Dhanaji Shinde.

Police officials underlined that the VHP rally was a clear violation of the prohibitory orders issued under the Bombay Police Act Act, 1951 for Pimpri Chinchwad police commissionerate area from May 21 to June 3.

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“The outfit carried out a shobha yatra, largely comprising women, in Yamunanagar area on Sunday evening despite permission being denied by the police. We spotted air rifles in the hands of four girls and swords were brandished by five girls,” a Nigdi police station official told PTI.

“We have taken suo motu case at Bigdi police station. We are yet to verify what kind of air rifles were exhibited during the procession. They were emanating a huge sound when the trigger was pressed,” he added.

With PTI inputs

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