BJP workers disrupt temple programme in Dakshina Kannada

03-02-2017
TH

Activists of the Hindu Jagaran Vedike and workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday attempted to disrupt a programme at the popular Southadka Mahaganapathi temple near Belthangady in Dakshina Kannada district.

Unhappy that the Kokkada gram panchayat president V.J. Sebastian had been invited to the function, about 20 people started singing bhajans loudly in the midst of the proceedings. The police had to drive the protesters away before the function could go off smoothly.

According to the Belthangady police, the temple, administered by the Muzrai Department, had organised a function to inaugurate a new dining hall and start a special seva. District in-charge Minister B. Ramanath Rai and MLC Srinivas Poojary, besides Mr. Sebastian, were at the function.

The vedike activists and BJP partymen claimed that Mr. Sebastian’s presence violated the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997.

The act of protesters, Mr. Sebastian said, had hurt his feelings. He said he was attending the public-cum-religious function as per protocol. “I am not interfering in the affairs of the temple. It saddens to see a lame reason being forwarded to keep me out,” said Mr. Sebastian, a Congress worker who has been a gram panchayat member for over 11 years.

Not the first time:

This is not the first time that Hindu outfits have protested against non-Hindus attending temple functions.

In April last, they protested against the inclusion of the then Dakshina Kannada Deputy Commissioner A.B. Ibrahim’s name in the invitation of the annual fair of the Mahalingeshwara temple in Puttur.

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