School of BJP MLA Under Scanner For Allowing Arms Training, Bajrang Dal Says No Firearms Used
The Bajrang Dal claimed on Sunday that no firearm training was given at a camp held by it at a school in Thane district last week.
Mumbai: The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) has sought action against a Maharashtra school for letting out its premises to Bajrang Dal for organising an arms training camp.
The school, located at Mira-Bhayandar road in the Thane district, is owned by BJP MLA Narendra Mehta.
Sadique Basha, joint secretary, DYFI, said the pictures shared by Bajrang Dal, youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad, show youngsters posing with air rifles.
“Bajrang Dal activist Prashant Gupta has posted pictures of the training. The photos also show rifle training. The truth is for the police to investigate. The school is owned by Narendra Mehta, a BJP MLA. Narendra Mehta must understand that a school is place for education and not for spreading hate and violence,” Basha said.
“We demand that an FIR be registered against Bajrang Dal leaders and Narendra Mehta under section 153A (1) (c) of the Indian Penal Code for using criminal force or violence to promote enmity between different groups on grounds of religion,” he added.
However, Mehta dismissed the claims saying, “This is all rubbish. It is a school. Some other photos are being circulated which have nothing to do with the school. Yes, I allowed Bajrang Dal to use the school premises. The school premises are also used for many other events, including qawwali and Iftar programs, yoga programs, film shootings, etc. during vacations. I condemn these reports.”
The right-wing organisation also denied the claims, calling the allegations “politically motivated”.
“These are routine camps organised by Bajrang Dal twice a year. We have several events, including running, jumping, rope climbing and yoga. We have not given any arms training here. These allegations are politically motivated to malign our organisation,” said Sandeep Bhagat, Konkan region coordinator of the Bajrang Dal.
"Some of our activists had brought air-guns, which do not require a license," he added.
A complaint has been registered and the police are investigating the authenticity of the photos as well as the weapons used, as claimed by the DYFI. A probe is also being carried out regarding the type of training and events conducted during the camp.
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