New Delhi, Sept 12 (UNI) Terming the nationwide 'chakka jam' a huge success, VHP general secretary Pravin Togadia said the massive scale of the blockade must ''open the government's eyes'' and it should refrain from demolishing the heritage 'Ramsethu' off Tamil Nadu's shores.
Nearly ten lakh people participated in the nationwide road blockade which took place at 4,216 spots, including 626 national highways and 125 railway lines, Mr Togadia told the media.
''The 'jam' has established that the majority of India was against the demolition of the 'Ramsethu' which was a heritage property and a symbol of faith for millions of Hindus.'' The 'chakka jam' was peaceful. Though reports of firing in the air at three places, lathicharge at five places in MP, Haryana and Gujarat, and detention of nearly a lakh people have come, there was no report of any violence or damage to public property, he said, adding that those detained were later released.
''All health services, fire brigade and emergency services had been exempted from the 'jam' and no report of any complaints have come from anywhere.'' Informing that the 'chakka jam' was to highlight the anti-Hindu stand of the government, which was bent upon destroying the 'Ramsethu' despite several feasible alternatives available, the VHP leader said the move was a ploy to win Muslim votes in the ''impending mid-term elections''.
''Also, they want to push the US agenda of keeping India dependent on it for its energy requirements, despite the world's largest thorium deposits stacked near the 'Setu' that could satiate the country's energy requirements for more than 300 years.'' Informing that the next phase of the 'agitation', to force the government to accede to their demand, would begin on September 22, the VHP leader said 'padyatras' would be organised in every locality and village of the country and 'pooja-archana' of Sri Ram, Ramayan, and Rameshwar temple would be held to create awareness among the people.
''The idea was to mobilise public opinion on the issue which has great relevance to our faith and beliefs, and for this we are contacting several political parties from whom we received a positive response'', Mr Togadia added.