Arrest of indu Activist in Jharkhand Sparks Political Controversy, 4-Decade Ban on Ram Julus
Arrest of indu Activist in Jharkhand Sparks Political Controversy, 4-Decade Ban on Ram Julus

Ranchi: The arrest of Hindu activist Aman Kumar, also known as Aman Baba, for allegedly organizing a Ram Navami procession in Badkagaon, Hazaribagh, has ignited a political controversy in Jharkhand. Kumar was apprehended by the Jharkhand police in Patna, Bihar, on Wednesday night, following an FIR lodged in April.

Kumar appeared in court on Thursday and was subsequently placed in judicial custody for 14 days. Reports indicate that Kumar was detained for his role in leading a procession along a prohibited route in Badkagaon during Ram Navami.

Following his arrest, Kumar's mother, Poonam Devi, held a press conference asserting that her son is a Sanatan Dharma activist whose growing popularity unnerved the government and political figures. She highlighted the long-standing dispute over the procession route in Barkagaon, which had been banned by the administration for 40 years. Despite the ban, Kumar built a chariot and pulled it by hand from Hazaribagh to Ranchi, she said.

Devi accused the government of feeling threatened by Kumar's dedication to Hindutva. She noted his active campaigning for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) across various districts, including Hazaribagh, Chatra, Dumka, Godda, and Ranchi, during the general elections. "The government felt threatened by Aman as he was relentlessly working for Hindutva," she stated, questioning whether chanting "Jai Sri Ram" in India is now considered a crime.

Kumar's arrest has provoked strong reactions from opposition leaders, who have criticized the state government and called for his immediate release. Former Chief Minister of Jharkhand and BJP state unit president Babulal Marandi took to X (formerly Twitter), condemning the arrest of the Ram Navami procession organizers in Hazaribagh. He accused the Congress-JMM-RJD coalition government of hurting the sentiments of the majority community and demanded the immediate release of the activists. Marandi warned that the Sanatan society would be forced to launch an agitation if the Rambhakts are not released.

Senior BJP leader and Rajya Sabha MP Deepak Prakash also condemned the arrest in a video message. He criticized the state's coalition government for its alleged appeasement policies and warned that Hindu activists and BJP workers were being targeted in Hazaribagh. "Wake up, or the Sanatan society will be forced to hit the streets," Prakash warned the administration.

The controversy traces back to a 1985 district administration order that blocked procession entry via the Badkagaon-Mahudi path, an area with a significant Muslim population. In April this year, Kumar attempted to lead a procession through the prohibited area, prompting the administration to erect barricades. This led to stone-pelting, vandalism of vehicles, and sporadic arson by an enraged mob. Police eventually restored order using minor force and deploying sufficient personnel to prevent further incidents.

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