Tamil Nadu BJP president L Murugan started the controversial Vel Yatra from the Thiruthani Murugan temple in Tiruttani town of Tiruvallur district on Friday afternoon. Despite the Tamil Nadu government saying the procession cannot be carried out amid the pandemic, Murugan holding a vel in his hands, started the yatra with other BJP leaders like Minister of Home Affairs G Kishan Reddy, H Raja, Karnataka minister CT Ravi and former IPS officer Annamalai.
On Thursday, Tamil Nadu government informed the Madras High Court that the permission for Vetrivel yatra is denied due to the risk of coronavirus transmission. The government counsel said that since there is a chance for a second wave of infection and therefore it was not conducive to conduct the yatra. The BJP had grand plans for the Vetrivel yatra, the partyâ€™s reply to 'anti-Hindu' sentiments they allege is being propagated by a section of parties in Tamil Nadu. The plan was to cover six abodes of Lord Murugan starting from Tiruttani on November 6. After covering four temples including the most famous one at Palani, the yatra is supposed to end on December 6 in Tiruchendur in Thoothukudi, which is the Babri Masjid day. However the TN police have allowed only a small group to go near the temple.
L Murugan started his journey from Chennai to Thiruthani on Friday morning flanked by other leaders. Though a considerably large convoy started from Chennai, they were stopped on Poonamallee road by the police. After a lot of debate and escalating tension, just 5 vehicles with around 20 people including main leaders were allowed to pass.
The TN unit president Murugan dressed in a saffron shirt, stood on the vehicle arranged for the yatra, as a beaming H Raja joined him.
A release from the BJP said, â€śThe BJP TN president L Murugan will start to Tiruttani from his house at 7.30 am. He will participate in the vel yatra envisioned to stop anti-Hindu forces and for making central government schemes reach the people affected by coronavirus lockdown.â€ť
Speaking to reporters from his residence at Koyambedu in Chennai, L Murugan said, â€śI want to pray. I have a right to worship. The Constitution of India guarantees this, that's why I am travelling towards Tiruttani.â€ť
â€śWe have started the vetrivel yatra under the guidance of Lord Murugan. The lord has provided us blessing and permission. We will teach a lesson to the Karuppar Koottam by carrying out the Vetrivel yatra. This vel will be taken in procession across the state. The vel will go through the Arupadai Veedu. The vel yatra will tear the mask of all the anti-culture, anti-Tamil people in the state,â€ť he said. Arupadai Veedu are the six holy sites for Lord Muruga.
The leader then alleged that DMK party was behind the functioning of the rationalist YouTube channel Karuppar Koottam. L Murugan alleged, â€śKaruppar Koottam released the Kandha Sasti Kavacham (a tamil hymn in praise of Lord Muruga) in an obscene way. So the BJP has taken the issue on hand to give a fitting reply to them. We say that DMK chief Stalin is the force behind Karuppar Kottam.â€ť
The Central Crime Branch police had arrested four members working for Karuppar Koottam YouTube channel for posting alleged derogatory remarks against the poem.