Politics
Ananth Kumar said that the Milad-un-Nabi procession was allowed and accused the state government and police of discrimination.

Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs and BJP leader Ananth Kumar accused Chief Minister Siddaramaiah of turning Karnataka into ‘Ravana Rajya’ after Hanuman Jayanti celebrations in Hunsuru in Mysuru were brought to a premature end on Sunday.

Police resorted to a lathi-charge after people gathered to celebrate the festival agitated against the arrest of BJP MP Pratap Simha. The MP had been taken into preventive custody when he was on his way to attend the festival celebrations, but was released on Sunday night.

Accusing the state government of discrimination, Kumar asked why the government and police did not allow Hanuman Jayanti celebrations. “Tipu Jayanti and Eid-Milad processions were allowed but only Hanuman Jayanti was not allowed. How is this fair?” asked Kumar. He also condemned the arrest of Pratap Simha and asked why the government was silent about the high number of communal incidents in the state. “The CM is the main reason for communal incidents occurring in the state. The government has turned a blind eye to the incidents,” said Kumar.

Ananth Kumar also vowed that the BJP will not remain silent over this issue. “We will take to the streets and protest. We will also raise the issue in the Parliament,” he said. The winter session of Parliament is set to begin in New Delhi on December 15. 

BJP leaders, led by MP Shobha Karandlaje, also protested at the Gandhi Square in Mysuru on Monday raising slogans against the government and police officials over their treatment of Simha.

BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje at a protest in Mysuru on Monday 

Police officials at Hunsuru in Mysuru district had imposed prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the district till 6.30pm on Monday, only making exceptions for the two procession routes agreed beforehand for the celebrations of Hanuman Jayanti and Milad-un-Nabi.

According to the police, however, MP Simha wanted to change the procession route, and hence was taken into preventive custody. “Last year, two routes were devised for peaceful celebrations of the two festivals. This year too the same routes were agreed but Simha wanted to take a different route. The Superintendent of Police and District Commissioner had discussions with Simha but to no avail. Eventually, we decided to take him into preventive custody,” Shanmugha, a Sub-Inspector in Hunsur had earlier said.

People gathered to celebrate Hanuman Jayanti agitated against Simha’s absence and police officials resorted to a lathi charge to disperse the crowd. 29 people were taken into preventive custody while 58 others were arrested in connection with the clash. Simha, along with others taken into preventive custody, was released on Sunday night.