Social activist Saket Gokhale on July 24 sought assistance from the Maharashtra government after alleged members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) reached his residence in Mumbai and started chanting "Jai Shri Ram" slogans.
Earlier in the day, when Gokhale appeared on a news channel to oppose the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the Ram temple in Uttar Pradesh's Ayodhya on August 5 amid the coronavirus crisis. The social activist said that he was "getting death threats on the phone from BJP & RSS workers".
So after appearing on @ZeeNews this morning & saying that the Ram Mandir Bhumi Puja event in the middle of a pandemic is risky, I've started getting death threats on the phone from BJP & RSS workers.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) July 24, 2020
One of them said "you'll see our anger now".
This is how @AmitShah operates.
Taking cognisance of the situation, Home Minister Anil Deshmukh took to Twitter to announce that the Thane police would provide protection to Gokhale and conduct an enquiry .
.@SaketGokhale We are taking very serious cognisance of this and have immediately ordered an enquiry into this issue. We will immediately provide you protection. Thane police have been instructed accordingly. #ZeroToleranceForHooliganism https://t.co/p9euseRSe4— ANIL DESHMUKH (@AnilDeshmukhNCP) July 24, 2020
Update: Police have registered an FIR & are booking the criminals. They've also asked for numbers of all sanghis that have been calling me today.— Saket Gokhale (@SaketGokhale) July 24, 2020
I've also been provided protection by @Thane_R_Police.
A million thanks to the police, @sachin_inc ji & @AnilDeshmukhNCP ji 🙏 https://t.co/BFpGcf4CUV
Gokhale had earlier moved the Allahabad High Court seeking a restraining order on the bhoomi poojan or ground-breaking ceremony for the Ram temple.
He had argued that around 300 people would gather at a single place, which will violate physical distancing guidelines which are in place to curb the spread of coronavirus. However, the High Court dismissed his petition on July 24.
Hours after the verdict came out, Gokhale tweeted a video that showed a group of men, walking around his residential complex and chanting "Jai Shri Ram".
The activist said that the alleged members of the RSS also threatened his mother, urging urgent assistance from the state government and the police.
Swami Govind Dev Giri, treasurer of Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, had announced on July 22, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the foundation ceremony next month.
Giri added that nearly 200 people would be allowed to see the rituals, where the PM will set a silver brick into the ground as a symbolic gesture of breaking the ground.
In a landmark verdict on November 9 last year, the Supreme Court had ruled that the disputed land in Ayodhya would be given to a government-run trust for the construction of a Ram temple.
The court had said that the demolition of Babri Masjid was illegal and directed the government to acquire an alternative plot of land to build a mosque.