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Telangana bars Paripoornananda from more districts

Hyderabad: Telangana police have extended the restrictions on the entry of Hindu cleric Swamy Paripoornananda in two more commissionerates of Rachakonda and Cyberabad adjoining Hyderabad for his provocative speeches. He was externed from Hyderabad for six months earlier and was shifted to his hometown Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh. The fresh orders banning his entry in other areas were issued by the police commissioners of Cyberabad and Rachakonda on Thursday.

The Telangana government has decided to take stern action against anybody trying to disturb peace and tranquility, sources said, adding that other districts in the state were likely to impose a similar ban on the entry of the religious leader.

Paripoornananda is the head of Kakinada-based Sri Peetham and president of the Hindu Rashtriya Sena group. The latest action against him came even as the BJP and other organisations allied to it have been staging protests in Hyderabad and in other places demanding that the ban be revoked.

The action came amid a row over certain controversial remarks made by a Telugu film critic, Kathi Mahesh, against Hindu sacred figures Rama and Sita that triggered strong protests.

Mahesh was externed from Hyderabad for six months by Hyderabad police and was shifted to Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh. In a Facebook chat, Mahesh opposed the externment of Paripoornananda and criticised his own expulsion from Hyderabad. “This is a medieval punishment,” he said.

Mahesh, speaking in Bengaluru, expressed hope that he would be allowed to return to Hyderabad with respect and honour. “I am being victimised because I am Dalit [socially dowtrodden community],” he said.

He also criticised the BJP, RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal for exploiting the name of the deity Ram for political purposes. “They are raking up controversy on irrelevant issues because they want to use Ram for their political ends,” he said.

The BJP, which reacted strongly to the police move, took the issue to the state governor E.S.L. Narasimhan. A delegation of the party’s leaders led by former federal minister Bandaru Dattatreya met the governor and urged him to get the ban order against Paripoornananda revoked.

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