Hindutva groups seen holding weapons training camps and rallies in the past month in 4 BJP-ruled states

The Bajrang Dal and the VHP have reportedly organised a number of weapons training camps and rallies in Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan.

The month of May, with the voting for the 18th Lok Sabha elections going on, was in full swing with hate speech spewed by politicians. From these videos that have come up, it seems that right-wing groups too were not inactive, and instead were busy organising training camps amidst the election phase focussing on paramilitary training using what appears to be guns, air guns, and swords.

In Udaipur, Rajasthan, hundreds of Durga Vahini members organised a military-style street march, brandishing guns and swords. The Durga Vahini is the women’s wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad. One more such video came from Rajasthan’s Beawar where young men can be seen holding the saffron flag in a uniform and brandishing weapons, including guns and swords.

Five such videos came from BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as well. As per Hate Detectors, an online portal on X, formerly Twitter, that documents hate crimes, Raipur witnessed both Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad organise a training camp for young people. The video uploaded seemed to be a remix and edited video, which even features a song, showing young boys exercising, performing stunts, as well as shooting.

The same organisations reportedly furthermore organised an air gun training session for youth in Agar, in Madhya Pradesh. Sehore in the state too witnessed another such camp. The state also witnessed a rally with scores of youths being seen holding weapons in their hands as they marched in Mandla.

Hate Detectors also featured a video from MP’s Nagda where over 400 girls attended a weapons training camp reportedly organised by Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Durga Vahini.

Gujarat’s Sabirkantha also reportedly witnessed such an instance of weapons training for youth by the Antarrashtriya Hindu Parishad.

Similarly, The Observer Post reported that a video has come out showing Shrikant Pandit, who the report says is associated with the Bajrang Dal, handling bullets and displaying arms.

Apart from firearms which cannot be used without a license, swords and blades that are bigger than nine inches in length and are not used for kitchen-related purposes also need the holder to get a licence under the Arms Act.

The VHP has been earlier also observed organising these camps across the country. To these reports, the organisation has also responded in 2016 that there is nothing ‘illegal’ about it, and termed the training as ‘routine.’ It seems that these camps have been routine. In 2022, a ceremony displaying the training was performed by a group of students in Karnataka under Bajrang Dal. The event, called Trishula Deekshe, took place at a school in the presence of local MLA’s, as per a report in the Deccan Herald.

Similarly, in May 2022, Kerala Police registered a case against 200 women from the Durga Vahini for marching with swords and other weapons in Thiruvananthapuram.

On August 8, 2023, after similar videos of such camps went viral from Assam and Rajasthan where over 350 young people were given weapons training and also were taught to consider Muslims as hatching an evil plan against Hindus of India. Citizens for Justice and Peace had filed a complaint at the National Commission for Minority urging the commission to take strict action.


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