Karnataka: BJP Protests Erupt In Hubli Over Arrest Of Babri Masjid Demolition Participant Srikanth Poojary Ahead Of Ram Mandir Inauguration (VIDEOS)

Karnataka: BJP Protests Erupt In Hubli Over Arrest Of Babri Masjid Demolition Participant Srikanth Poojary Ahead Of Ram Mandir Inauguration (VIDEOS)

With the arrest coming ahead of the Ram Mandir inauguration in Ayodhya on January 22, the protesters accused the Siddaramaiah government of targeting Hindutva activists.

Vishakha SonawaneUpdated: Wednesday, January 03, 2024, 04:01 PM IST
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Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) workers took to streets in Hubli, Karnataka, on Wednesday to protest against the arrest of Srikanth Poojary, a karsevak who participated in the Babri Masjid demolition. With the arrest coming ahead of the Ram Mandir inauguration in Ayodhya on January 22, the protesters accused the Siddaramaiah government of targeting Hindutva activists.

Poojary, who was aged 20 at the time of the Babri Masjid demolition, was not arrested for the past three decades; however, his case was "long-pending", the police said. His arrest on Tuesday ensued widespread demonstrations in Hubli, a communal hotbed of the state. The protesters gathered in front of the Nagar Police Station, raising concerns over what they perceive as targeted arrests karsevaks.

Strict security measures implemented

The protests that began around 11 am continued through the afternoon, with Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly R Ashoka spearheading the demonstration. The police have implemented stringent security measures to prevent any escalation of the situation. According to reports, about 500 personnel have been deployed in the city. Shops in the area have been reportedly shut down, with the situation seeming like an undeclared bandh.

Expressing outrage, protesters accused the Congress government of selectively targeting Hindu activists and arresting them in decades-old cases. According to the videos from the protest site, the BJP workers were seen chanting bhajans and raising religious slogans. The protest was also joined by MLAs Aravind Bellad, Mahesh Tenginakai, MR Patil, MLC Pradeep Shettar.

'Poojary not a Lord Ram devotee'

State Home Minister G Parameshwar said that Poojary was not a devotee of Lord Ram and there are 16 cases registered against him.

"He is in the position of an accused and has 16 cases against him. He has come out with a few cases among them. The BJP is a party that is supporting a person who is not abiding by the law and has 16 cases against him. I don’t know what has happened to the BJP," Parameshwar told reporters. “Poojary’s case came up while digging into older cases as orders were given to clear them. It is natural that a question is raised why after 31 years action is being taken. But, the cases could have been withdrawn during the four-year rule of the BJP government or when former Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa was in power. They have also not done anything. The question is who should be blamed.”

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