A squad of 1,000 saints from the Jan Sena, a Kanpur-based religious organisation, will leave for Jammu and Kashmir on May 7 to help Army jawans and paramilitary forces take on stone-pelters in the strife-torn state.
Additional squads of saints may be sent later as per the requirement, said Jan Sena founder Balyogi Arun Puri Chaitanay Maharaj. Puri is the head priest of the Siddhanth temple in Janjmau.
The Jan Sena founder claimed they have decided to go ahead with the proposed plan under the ‘Yudha Vijay Yagya’ despite the authorities forbidding them from doing so. “We sought permission from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow us into Kashmir for boosting the morale of jawans and helping them take on stone-pelters, but did not get it. The district administration also denied us permission. However, we are determined to go, regardless of the consequences. If our members are stopped, we will travel in our individual capacity and regroup once we get there,” he said.
Addressing mediapersons at his ashram on Wednesday, Puri said the saints would assemble at the Shahid Smarak in Nanarao Park on Sunday morning and leave for Kashmir in 100 cars and three buses. Many others will reach the Valley by train on May 14.
The maharaj said a truck loaded with stones will accompany the saints, so that any attack by Kashmiri extremists can be accorded a suitable response. “Our disciples will collect more stones once we get there,” he added.
According to the Jan Sena founder, as many as 500 volunteers would head to Krishna Ghati – where the jawans were found beheaded on Monday. “We will ask the jawans to keep us in the front row, so that Army casualties are avoided. As we don’t have families to mourn our death, we don’t mind sacrificing our lives to safeguard that of our jawans,” he said.
Puri said the volunteers have been trained in patharbaji (stone-slinging) to combat anti-national elements. “We plan to open patharbaji training centres in Kanpur and adjoining areas to teach more saints the art of stone-slinging,” he added.