In a key development, the Bajrang Dal has responded to its weapons training camp and stated that this is just physical training. In an exclusive conversation with Republic Media Network, All India co-convenor of Bajrang Dal, Suryanarayan, said that the group has been organising such camps on a regular basis for more than two decades.
He also claimed that the weapons seen being used in the video are air guns and not real weapons. The controversy erupted after SDPI questioned the use of weapons and sought action against Bajrang Dal.
"For the last 25 years, Bajrang Dal has been running this training camp. It is not for some school children. These trainings are organised for the people who work actively in Bajrang Dal and to keep them physically and mentally motivated. We invite such selected people to the camp. Those are not weapons but air guns from which children also play and in many states, it is used for killing monkeys. It is only to teach them aiming that is part of physical training like it is given in the army like climbing the rope and long jump. Aiming is not illegal. During festivals, aim games are played. There is no use of weapons as Bajrang Dal doesn't give weapons training," Suryanarayan told Republic TV.
Karnataka BJP spokesperson S Prakash slammed SDPI for creating controversy. He said, "SDPI is a pro-terrorist organisation. How can they take objection to a training camp by the Bajrang Dal which is harmless and never got indulged in any killings? It is SDPI who are into such kinds of activities. they are training is undertaken under rules and law and if they have any objection they can file a police complaint."
Massive controversy erupted after Bajrang Dal organised a week-long training camp for its members at Sai Shankar Educational Institute in Ponnampete, Kodagu district of Karnataka. Following the training camp, the SDPI came out questioning the event where students were seen training with weapons of sorts. The SDPI further demanded action against the group.
The Bajrang Dal reportedly held a camp for students between May 5 and 11, where they were given training to use weapons including rifles. Following the camp, the SDPI released a series of pictures where members of the Bajrang Dal were seen with sharp-edged Trishuls and indulging in gun training. Sharing the images, SDPI questioned the event and questioned why such training was being given to students.