Swami Balendu, who was a spiritual-guru-now-an-athiest, had invited other atheists, friends and acquaintances from different parts of the country, to his ashram in Mathura. “Immediately after the attack senior police officials came with the Hindutva activists and threatened and pressurised him to cancel the meeting,” Swami Balendu said.
When police officials failed to guarantee security to him and his guests because of the tension in the city due to the proposed private meet, Swami Balendu cancelled the meeting.
The Mathura administration which had earlier given permission for the private meeting, withdrew the official permission in the last minute after pressure from Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Prishad and other Hindutva groups.
“Over 50 activists of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal and local Hindutva groups reached the Bindu Seva Sansathan Ashram at about 10 in the morning and started shouting slogans and attacking the ashram property. Armed with sticks, the Hindutva activists broke the glass panels of the ashram belongings,” Swami Balendu told The Hindu newspaper.
“Immediately after the attack, the Hindutva activists accompanied senior police officials and talked to us in a tone which can be termed as threatening. The Hindutva guys told us that the protest was a mere start and if we go ahead with the meeting then much bigger things could happen in the city,” added Swami Balendu.
“Even though it was a private event we took all the permission. The Constitution permits us to be non-believers. But this seems like an all out attack on the freedom of expression and the freedom to be a non believer,” added Swami Balendu.
“The police officials said that there was tension in the city and they can not guarantee us our safety and security. We were forced to cancel the meet because I can not jeopardise the safety and security of our guests,” he added.
“The administration was harassing the guests who were on their way to Mathura for the event,” alleged Swami Balendu.
“We were told by the administration that the guests who have reached the Ashram should be asked to leave as their presence could create law and order problem. Even the guests who are not aware of the cancellation of the event and who have reached Mathura, are not being allowed to come to the Ashram,” he alleged.
“The administration has been trying to harass us and shut the Ashram some how. They sent a food inspector to the restaurant so that they could seize the place. We did not want disturb anybody. Neither was our intention to create a law and order problem. But what I fail to understand is that how and why few guests of mine, visiting my home, could create a law and order problem,” said Swami Balendu, who was born and brought up in Mathura, and comes from a “family of Hindu spiritualists”.