Three VHP leaders were allegedly arrested by the Mumbai Police in Malwani on Friday. It is alleged that they were arrested for putting up posters of Ram Mandir Nidhi Sankalan Abhiyan, a mass contact and contribution campaign for the construction of a Bhavya & Divya mandir at the birthplace of Bhagwan Shri Ramlalla in Ayodhya and then, filming while Mumbai police allegedly tore posters of Lord Shri Ram.
A VHP leader who spoke on the condition of anonymity spoke to OpIndia and told them that the incident took place late evening on Friday when some VHP workers were returning home after campaigning for a donation drive for the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The VHP workers allegedly saw police officials removing the Ram Mandir Nidhi Sankalan posters and tearing them apart. Some VHP workers started recording the incident on their mobile phones. Realising that their act is being recorded on the mobile phone, one of the police officers accosted the VHP workers and purportedly started beating them.
When questioned why the posters were being removed, the police officers reportedly said the posters were controversial in nature and hurt the sentiments of the locals. He also added that he had orders from above to get the Ram Mandir Nidhi Sankalan posters removed. It is pertinent to note that Malwani is a Muslim-dominated region in Mumbai. The 3 VHP workers were detained on the charges of obstructing and preventing the police from doing their duty. Following their arrest, RSS, VHP, and BJP leaders sat on a sit-in vigil in the police station in opposition to their detention. The leaders demanded that the three VHP workers be immediately released.
Regarding this, Legal Rights Observatry (LRO) tweeted, “#Mumbai part of Islamic Republic? @MumbaiPolice, #Malvani PS tore Prabhu Shri Ram poster at d behest of minister @AslamShaikh_MLA of @OfficeofUT Govt, Dept rattled by @NCPCR_ notice to @CPMumbaiPolice on drug/ porn issue in area. @VHPDigital workers staged dharna.”
Giving a stern warning to the Maharashtra government, in another tweet, LRO said, “For opposing Prabhu Shri Ram, Empires crumbled, dynasties vanished, mighty political families destroyed, thrones uprooted! See Mulayam Yadav, @laluprasadrjd @cpimspeak, Sonia Family- all on brink of extinction! So don't play with Prabhu Shri Ram @OfficeofUT @PawarSpeaks Ji!”