Firecracker traders and members of the Congress party clashed during a protest against the sale of crackers led by Congress MLA MK Somshekar at JK Grounds in Mysuru on Wednesday.
MLA Somshekar led the rally in the city to spread awareness about the effects of crackers on health and the environment.
After marching to GK Grounds, the MLA immersed crackers in a bucket of water, an act that angered cracker traders, and culminated in a war of words between the traders and protestors, according to a report in City Today.
The traders called the MLA anti-Hindu.
The protestors could be seen chanting “Beda Beda Pataki Beda” (No, No, Say no to crackers) when a group of cracker traders confront them.
Police personnel resorted to lathicharge to quell the protestors and bring the situation under control.
A close aide of the MLA, Gunashekhar and a few merchants were detained by the police.
Cracker sellers raised questions against the government regarding why the MLA was protesting against crackers at the time of the festival when they were given permission to sell crackers. This led to a verbal spat between the MLA and the traders.
Sharath, Vice President of Cracker Merchants’ Association of Mysuru while speaking to City Today reiterated that the merchants were selling crackers with prior permission from the district administration.
He said that the merchants would support an awareness campaign but oppose any protest against cracker sales.