The Tamil Nadu Police on Wednesday filed a first information report against Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam’s Working President MK Stalin and 50 other party MLAs for protesting against the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s Ram Rajya Yatra in the state.

The Ramrajya Rath Yatra, which aims to garner support for a Ram temple in Ayodhya and consolidate Hindu votes for the 2019 General Elections, reached Tamil Nadu on Tuesday. In protest, Stalin had led a road roko demonstration outside the Chennai secretariat.

He and other party leaders, who claimed the yatra would disturb peace and communal harmony in the state, were detained on Tuesday. Earlier, the Speaker had evicted Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam legislators from the Assembly after they protested against the yatra.

The yatra

The Shri Ramdas Mission Universal Society of Maharashtra, which is conducting the multi-state event, launched the yatra from Ayodhya on February 13. Several local political parties had demanded that the state government ban the yatra from entering Tamil Nadu.

The yatra has the support of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. Besides Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, it will also travel through Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Kerala. To ensure that it faces no trouble along its route, the Union home ministry had sent a “route plan” prepared by the yatra’s organisers to police in all six states asking them to take “appropriate action”.

The yatra is part of the larger Ram Janmabhoomi movement to mobilise support to build a temple at the spot where the 16th-century Babri Masjid stood before it was demolished in 1992 by BJP-led Hindutva groups. These groups believe this is the spot where Ram was born.