With the Sri Ram Sene going all guns blazing against the Pejawar Mutt seer Vishweshtheertha Swamy, the Bengaluru police registered a suo motu case against the Sene Chief, Pramod Muthalik, for hate speech.
On Sunday, Muthalik and his supporters staged a protest before the Gandhi Statue near Anand Rao Circle in Bengaluru, attacking the seer for hosting an Iftar party at the Udupi Sri Krishna Mutt last Saturday. Muthalik had said in his speech during the protest that there will be bloodshed if Iftar parties are held in temples henceforth.
Talking his speech into cognisance, the High Grounds Police registered a suo motu case against Muthalik on Monday. The charges have been filed under Sections 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc, and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony), 295 (a) (deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the IPC.
“Muthalik delivered hate speeches which have hurt the sentiments of a specific community and had also said that he and his supporters would spill blood if an Iftar party or Namaz was allowed in any temple henceforth. We have registered a complaint based on his statement,” an officer at the High Ground Police said.
"Henceforth, we will not allow holding of Iftar parties in any of the temples including Sri Krishna Mutt at Udupi. We will thwart any attempt to hold such parties henceforth even if that entails bloodshed,” Muthalik had said on Sunday.
Muthalik also demanded that the Sri Krishna Mutt be “cleansed” as it had “harboured Muslims in its premises”.
Members of the saffron outfit had also gathered in protest near the clock tower at Udupi Service Bus stand on Sunday. They had offered prayers to an image of the deity Krishna, before holding the protest.
"You (Pejawar seer) are the supreme guru of Hindutva. But it was not right for you to allow people to perform namaz inside the Mutt. Next year, if you organise an Iftar, we too will attend. But the event should be held not inside the mutt but outside at some other place,” Sri Rama Sene leader Mohan Bhat said in Udupi.
The Pejawar seer, however remained firm in his stand. “I will not react to the statement of Pramod Muthalik. Those who are opposing the Iftar, do not know the Shastras well enough. How has this (Iftar) harmed Dharma? I am not affected by the protest. I am just going about my routine and will not pay heed to this," he told reporters.
The seer also said that there was no question of cleansing the Sri Krishna Mutt. “Why should it be cleansed? What has happened? The event was held in the dining hall. If Muslims have offered prayers, is it a mistake? I have not taken any step that goes against Dharma,” he asserted.