Faridkot – RSS cadets held a procession on last sunday, brandishing guns, firearms and lathis, in Jaitu town of Faridkot. BJP opponents were furious at such a public display of firearms while police turned a blind eye onto it.
But local RSS leaders maintain that “shastra puja” (worship of arms) during Dusehra festivities and “pathsanchalan” (street march) have been traditional practices.
BJP’s opponents point out that public display of firearms is illegal. Kushaldeep Dhillon, general secretary, Punjab Congress, said Punjab was a sensitive state and every organisation and political group should desist from any public display of arms.
Prof Sadhu Singh, Aam Aadmi Party Member of Parliament from Faridkot, claimed that firearms had been used for “shastra puja” for the first time in Punjab.
Also, the organisers did not have the permission of the district administration for brandishing weapons, he said.
Sukhdev Singh Brar, Deputy Superintendent of police (DSP), Jaitu, admitted that the RSS had not sought permission for displaying the firearms.
“However, as there was no threat to peace and the weapons were used for a religious ceremony only, we did not initiate any action against the organisers,” he explained.
When contacted, Tirth Verma, RSS district chief, said: “We have no objection to seeking permission, if this is required as per the law. We are all law-abiding citizens.” Congress leader Dhillon said the RSS had become more assertive in Punjab ever since the Modi government had taken over the reins at the Centre. He said the Akali Dal seemed helpless in checking its activities.