One thousand men and women were scheduled to leave Kanpur on Sunday for Jammu and Kashmir. They are not tourists, though.
The group has been trained to take on “stone-pelters” in Kashmir by self-proclaimed holy men of the Jansena, a religious organisation in Kanpur. The video above shows the group’s bizarre training rituals, which involved throwing stones at dummies on the banks of a river, while chanting, amongst other slogans, “Death to Pakistan”.
However, they have been forbidden by the authorities from making the journey to the Valley, according to a report in Hindustan Times. “We sought permission from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to allow us into Kashmir for boosting the morale of jawans and helping them take on stone-pelters, but did not get it,” Jansena founder Arun Puri Chaitanay told the newspaper. “The district administration also denied us permission. However, we are determined to go, regardless of the consequences. If our members are stopped, we will travel in our individual capacity and regroup once we get there.
Trucks loaded with stones will also accompany the volunteers, Chaitanay said, adding, “Our disciples will collect more stones once we get there.” And the incident is not a one-off event. “We plan to open patharbaji training centres in Kanpur and adjoining areas to teach more saints the art of stone-slinging,” Jansena’s founder said.