Agra, Sep 13: Citing the recent violence in Muzaffarnagar of Uttar Pradesh as a reason, District Magistrate Zuher Bin Sagir of Agra has withdrawn permission to the Bharatiya Janata Party to hold a “Swabhimaan Rally” Sep 15 at Akola, 18 km from Agra.
Agra, a traditionally strong Jat area of Uttar Pradesh, is about 300 km from Muzaffarnagar, and about 320 km from state capital Lucknow.
The “Swabhimaan Rally” (Self-Respect Rally) was to be addressed by senior party leader L.K. Advani and fire-brand member of parliament Varun Gandhi. In 2009, in the run-up to general elections, Varun Gandhi was charged with making a hate-speech targetting Muslims. He was acquitted early 2013.
The administration explained that Section 144 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, barring “unlawful assembly armed with deadly weapon” was in force.
Intelligence reports said there were threats of trouble in rural areas after the rally.
Local BJP workers, however, said they would go ahead with the rally come what may.