Karnataka Violence: Police prohibits 200 members of right wing groups march to enter Srirangapatna’s Jamia Masjid

5 June, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

Right-wing activists gathered at Kirangur Junction in the historic Srirangapatna town in Karnataka's Mandya district on Saturday to march to a mosque

Right-wing activists gathered at Kirangur Junction in the historic Srirangapatna town in Karnataka’s Mandya district on Saturday to march to a mosque.

Officials said Mandya police prevented about 200 members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal from entering the Jama Masjid in Srirangapatna on Saturday as they congregated at the Kirangur intersection in the mediaeval Karnataka town for their planned march to the mosque.

The mosque, according to the groups, is built atop the remnants of a Hanuman temple. The members of the groups have stated that they will perform puja at the town’s Jamia Masjid.

Meanwhile, Section 144 CrPC was imposed in the area for 12 hours on Saturday, in response to a right-wing organization’s ‘Srirangapatna Chalo’ appeal.

Deputy Commissioner of Police S Ashwathi said “Over 500 police officers have been deployed, with four checkpoints set up. The weekly market has been rescheduled, and the sale of alcoholic beverages has been prohibited within a 5-kilometer radius of the location.”

A special crew has been organized to keep the area secure and CCTV cameras have been installed. The road leading to the mosque was kept close, however, admission into the mosque is restricted.

N Yatish, Mandya’s Superintendent of Police (SP), confirmed that “The city is now absolutely calm, and it will remain so for the foreseeable future. We’ve done all of the required preparations. We’ve deployed our troops, met with commanders, and informed them of the impending prohibitory orders. They will be prosecuted if they commit any violations.”

VHP on Saturday has announced that a march will be held in Srirangapatna, followed by prayers. Prohibitory orders have been issued in the region by the district administration.

“The taluk administration has issued prohibitive orders, and rallies, processions, and protests are not permitted within the Srirangapatna town panchayat limits on Saturday. We’ve placed enough bandobast in and around town to prevent any adverse incidents” Mandya, SP, informed.

Right-wing groups filed a memorandum with the Deputy Commissioner of Mandya in May this year, requesting permission for Hindus to pray at the mosque, which they said stands over the remnants of a Hanuman temple.

The activists said the building was once a temple that had been turned to a mosque. They asked whether they may perform puja in the mosque.

According to the activists, Jamia Masjid was built on top of the Anjaneya Temple. They also argued that the mosque was Anjaneya Temple, based on historical evidence.