The Karnataka government, as a part of its ‘preparations’ ahead of today’s ‘Srirangapatna Chalo’ (move towards Srirangapatna) call given by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), has imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC in the the historic town of Srirangapatna in Mandya district. According to a news report, the order will stay in place till 6 P.M today, Saturday, June 4.
Journalists from the area have shared that the are has been transformed into a virtual fortress with police personnel deployed around the historical Jamia Masjid in Srirangapatna. The VHP has called for a march towards the Masjid and has claimed that it’s built over a temple. Instead of refusing permission for such a march, that has the potential to create communal unrest, the authorities have imposed Section 144 CrPC and deployed over 500 police personnel, set up four check posts. According to a report in Times Now, “A route march was taken out in presence of SP N Yatish.”
Deputy Commissioner Aswathi S also told the media that the weekly Saturday market had been postponed, and “Liquor sale was banned in 5 km limits of Srirangapatna today.” According to news reports, the Masjid road has been closed and no one is allowed inside the mosque. CCTV cameras were installed and a special team was formed to keep an eye on suspicious movements.
However it is not known yet if the right-wing organisations have withdrawn their original threat to ‘enter’ Jamia Masjid and on June 4 and perform a puja there. The organisations took to social media to incite others to participate in the ‘Srirangapatna Chalo’ march as well.
For weeks they have been ‘warning’ the authorities of their plans and threats. According to news reports, the so-called ‘Narendra Modi Vichar Manch’ (NMVM), had approached the Mandya deputy commissioner last month and claimed that the Masjid-e-Ala was ‘Moodala Bagilu Anjaneya Swami temple’. The group “sought permission to worship there.” They claimed that 18th-century Mysuru ruler Tipu Sultan had allegedly demolished the temple and built a mosque over it. They asked the deputy commissioner of Mandya to “allow them to perform prayers to Hanuman inside the mosque.”
Meanwhile, the Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Friday “assured that the district police is instructed to take all precautionary measures to maintain law and order during the ‘Srirangapatna Chalo’” march led by VHP. He said, “No one is allowed to take the law into their hands at any cost,” but added that “any organisation has the right to present its claims peacefully and democratically.”
This article first appeared on newsclick.in