Updated: September 20, 2021 6:58:48 am
A day after right wing ‘activist’ Dharmendra Suratkal reportedly issued a threat to BJP leaders over demolition of a temple in Karnataka, he along with two others were arrested.
On Saturday, Dharmendra had, while referring to the demolition of a temple as part of a drive against illegal religious structures in Karnataka, reportedly issued the threat to the BJP leaders, saying even “Mahatma Gandhi was not spared in a bid to protect Hindus”.
Mangaluru City Police Commissioner N Shashi Kumar on Sunday said that three persons, including Dharmendra, have been arrested after Hindu Mahasabha state president L K Suvarna lodged a complaint.
Kumar had said on Saturday that Dharmendra was a leader of the Hindu Mahasabha but had been expelled by the body two years ago on grounds of objectionable behaviour.
Speaking at a press conference held at Mangaluru on Saturday, Dharmenda, targeted CM Basavaraj Bommai, former CM B S Yedyiurappa and minister Shashikala Jolle, saying, “When we didn’t spare Mahatma Gandhi and killed him to protect Hindus, do you think we will spare you?”
He added, “Temples were demolished by the government in Chitradurga, in Dakshina Kannada and in Mysuru. Hindu outfits launched protests. Who is running the government? If this had happened during the Congress regime, do you think the situation would have been the same? As long as the Hindu Mahasabha is there, we are not going to allow you to demolish Hindu temples.”
The accused were booked under sections 120(B) (criminal conspiracy), 153(A) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language etc.), 505(2) (statement conducing to public mischief), 506 (criminal intimidation), 465(forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 469 (forgery for purpose of harming reputation) and 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object).
The Supreme Court had ordered the demolition of unauthorised illegal structures in public places built after September 29, 2009. In December 2020, the Karnataka High Court also took the state government to task for not clearing the encroachments from public places.
But the BJP government has drawn the ire of Hindu outfits after a temple was demolished in Nanjangud in Mysuru district recently. Even Congress leaders had criticised the state government’s move.
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