The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) have set up posters Ratlam district of Madhya Pradesh stating that people from other faiths were prohibited from entering Durga Puja pandals where the traditional Garba dance is performed, according to reports by PTI.
The VHP, an Hindutva organization said it had set up such banners at 56 pandals in the MP’s district.
The VHP is an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the ideological parent body of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
According to Hindustan Times, Vishwa Hindu Parishad Dharm Prachar Vibhag district secretary for Ratlam, Chandan Sharma said that it was done to “avoid any clash and harassment of Hindu women”.
Men from other communities harass Hindu women and shoot their videos without permission in Durga Puja pandals, Sharma alleged.
“To avoid any clash and mismanagement, we have asked the administration to check the identity cards [of those entering pandals],” he said.
Chandan Sharma claimed that “controversial incidents” had occurred in 2020 when youth from other communities were allowed to enter pandals.
Rajesh Tiwari, VHP Madhya Kshetra in-charge, said that the organisation will implement this move across the state.
He targetted Muslims and alleged that they use religious functions to “befool the women of the Hindu community”.
Tiwari also made unconfirmed claims against Muslim men, that they use fake names and go on to lure Hindu women. Later they pressurise them to change their religion through marriage, he added.
He declared, “Now, we will save our women from these fraudsters”.
Talking to PTI, Abhishek Gehlot Ratlam Sub Divisional Magistrate said that the administration will look into the VHP posters if they receive any complaints.