Section 144 has been imposed within 500 metres of the Malali Juma Masjid in the outskirts of Mangaluru after a VHP leader claimed a ‘Ram Mandir-like campaign’ would be undertaken.
Yamini C S | Edited by Chandrashekar Srinivasan
Large gatherings have been banned within 500 metres of a mosque in Karnataka’s Mangaluru after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader warned of a ‘Ram Mandir-like campaign’ in the fight for control of premises on which a Hindu temple-like architectural design was reportedly found. The designs were reportedly found during renovation work late last month, news agency ANI had said.
Mangaluru authorities imposed Section 144 at 8 pm Tuesday and this will be in place till 8 am Thurrsday.
The Hindu temple-like architectural design was reportedly discovered underneath an old mosque in Mangaluru’s Malali when renovation work was undertaken by mosque authorities on April 21.
The VHP held a meeting Sunday – attended by villagers as well as a local BJP leader. At the meeting, it was decided rituals would be performed to ascertain the presence of God on the premises.
Reports said the ‘Thamboola Prashne’ ritual will be performed in the village (not on the disputed site) before May 26 and then a ‘Ashtamangala Prashne’ will also be performed.
The VHP leader was quoted by news agencies as saying they will simultaneously continue a legal fight. “All Hindus here strongly believe there was definitely a Hindu god. After all these rituals we will form a committee to regain the place. The fight might be like the Ram Mandir campaign,” he said.
Bharath Shetty, a local MLA has called for an archaeological survey to be undertaken in the matter.
Shetty told reporters that leaders of VHP and the Bajrang Dal, as well as other Hindu organisations, went to court and got a stay on the demolition of the mosque so the temple-like structures are not destroyed without investigation. “The Archaeological department should conduct a total survey to find out the truth,” he said.
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