In Udupi, the police have booked Hindu Jagarana Vedika members for violating COVID-19 protocols when they took out a march for Durga Doud on October 15.

Bajrang Dal members dancing in a procession with swordsScreengrab/Twitter
news Crime Monday, October 18, 2021 - 11:01

A video of scores of people from the Bajrang Dal dancing with swords in the middle of the road in Karnataka’s Belagavi district went viral on social media. The procession was reportedly held on October 13, on the eve of Ayudha Pooja. The members in the procession were seen violating COVID-19 protocols, with no one wearing masks or maintaining physical distance. 

Since the video went viral, several people took to twitter to criticize the incident and demanded that proper action had to be taken. According to a report in Times of India, the Deputy Commissioner of Belagavi MG Hiremath said that the violations will be looked into and a proper action will be taken.

Another video, which also went viral, showed several women allegedly belonging to Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), carrying swords in public as part of Dasara celebrations. This incident reportedly took place at Nargund taluk in Gadag district, which neighbors Belagavi. Here too, COVID-19 protocols were flouted with none of the participants wearing masks or following physical distance.

Meanwhile, in Udupi, the police have booked members of Hindu Jagarana Vedika, who took out a march for Durga Doud on October 15. Police booked the organisers under the Karnataka Epidemics Act and sections of the IPC for violating COVID-19 protocols, reported Times of India.  

The Udupi police are also reportedly looking into allegations of trishuls being distributed by Bajrang Dal and VHP members on Ayudha Pooja on October 14 to fight ‘love jihad’. Love jihad, which was coined by Hindutva groups to target Muslims, is a fallacious concept which alleges that Hindu women are seduced and trapped by Muslim men on the pretext of concverting them to Islam. 

A similar event reportedly took place in Dakshina Kannada district as well. Home Minister Araga Jnanendra reportedly defended the Trishul Dharane, stating it is an annual event held by the VHP to mark Ayudha Pooja. 

These incidents come just days after a 24-year-old Muslim youth named Arbaaz Aftab was murdered at Khanapur taluk in Belagavi for having a relationship with a Hindu woman. The body of Arbaaz was found dismembered on a railway track. The parents of the woman, who were opposed to their relationship, had allegedly paid Rs 5 lakh to members of a Hindu vigilante group called the Sri Rama Sena Hindustan, an offshoot of Sri Ram Sene headed by Pramod Mutalik, to have Arbaaz murdered.

Read: Violent Hindutva is not a problem in coastal regions alone: The north Karnataka story

Topic tags,
Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.