Giriraj Kishore: Indian VHP leader dies aged 94

Giriraj Kishore Giriraj Kishore played a major role in the campaign for a temple to Hindu god Ram in the northern town of Ayodhya

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Giriraj Kishore, a senior leader of the hardline Hindu organisation VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad or World Hindu Council), has died after a long illness.

Mr Kishore, 94, died in Delhi on Sunday evening at the VHP headquarters, the organisation said in a statement.

Born on 4 February 1920 in Etah district in Uttar Pradesh state, he served as the vice-president of VHP.

Mr Kishore played a major role in the campaign for a temple to Hindu god Ram in the northern town of Ayodhya.

He was among a group of politicians accused of inciting a Hindu mob to destroy the 16th Century Babri mosque in Ayodhya in December 1992.

Mr Kishore joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) - the ideological fountainhead of hardline Hindu organisations - at an early age and was one of its most senior campaigners.

The RSS founded VHP in 1964 to give Hindus what they believed would be a clearly defined sense of religious identity and political purpose and sent Mr Kishore to work with the VHP in 1983.

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