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Karnataka

BJP Rally Dances To ‘Jai Shree Ram’ Outside Mosque, Dargarh In Karnataka’s Kolar Amid Sec 144

Visuals of a cycle rally reportedly organised by BJP MP Tejasvi Surya from Bengaluru to Kolar show participants donning saffron scarves dancing at the gates of Masjids and Dargahs in Kolar to songs saying Jai Shree Ram.

Screenshots from a video of the incident show people donning saffron scarves dancing in front of Shahbaz Shah Khalander Dargah. (Image: Twitter/@Shaad_Bajpe)

KARNATAKA has been witnessing a communally charged atmosphere in the recent past. After Muslim women were barred from attending schools and colleges wearing hijab (headscarf), Muslim shopkeepers have been stopped from setting up stalls near the temples.

In the latest development, visuals of a cycle rally reportedly organised by BJP MP Tejasvi Surya from Bengaluru to Kolar have caught the eyeballs. This was after participants donning saffron scarves started dancing at the gates of Masjids and Dargahs in Kolar to songs saying Jai Shree Ram.

Videos that have been shared on Twitter were reportedly from the two places. One was from Hussaini Makan Masjid in Kolar and the other from Hazrat Shah Qalandar Dargah in the same district.

Sources said that while Surya himself was not present at the time when this incident took place, his supporters who had started with him from Bengaluru as a part of the rally were the ones doing it.

A truck with a DJ playing songs glorifying Hindutva was leading the procession.

Muhammad Irshad, a Karnataka-based journalist who was the first to share the video spoke to India Ahead and said, “The atmosphere in Kolar has been worsening. A week before, a local BJP MP removed green flags (that were painted since 75 years) from the iconic clock tower owned by Muslims.”

This was done under tight security provided by the BJP government of the state. MP Muniswamy had earlier openly threatened that he would put down the flag of “a particular community” and instead put the tricolour on the tower.

While Masjid Anjuman Committee did not respond to calls from India Ahead, Razik Ahmed Ahmed, a local from Kolar said that both Surya and Muniswamy have been doing everything possible to disrupt Kolar which otherwise has been a communally peaceful area.

Ahmed said, “There are two areas, one is the doom light circle and the other is the clock tower. While the former is in a pocket dominated by the Hindu community, the latter is in a Muslim locality. Now, there had been a recent spate of communally charged statements by Muniswamy (MP) that he will bring down the green flags from the clock tower and put on a tricolour. The green flags had been there since before independence.”

He added that a local leader named Mustafa Saheb who made this tower in 1930, had also donated various of his properties to the government for public welfare. “Even the documents of the clock tower are still in the name of Mustafa Saheb only. Yet with everything being peaceful for so many decades, the BJP, out of the blue, made it an issue to bring down the Islamic flags,” he said, alleging this was done to “provoke” the Muslims.

Ahmed said years ago there used to be such provocative incidents when rallies of Hindus at the time of Ganpati visarjan would sloganeer in front of the Masjids and the same would happen when Muslim processions would go near the doom light circle.

“However, five years ago, in presence of the district administration, locals from both – doom light, as well as, the clock tower area signed a peace treaty. It said that processions from Muslims would not be going to the doom light area and those from Hindus would not go into the clock tower area. This was being followed since then,” he said, adding Muniswamy has been threatening to float that treaty now after repainting the tower.

Ahmed said that after creating a ruckus in front of the Masjid and Dargah, the cycle rally participants assembled on the ground of the Kolar junior college where both Surya and Muniswamy gave speeches.

“At the end of his speech, he (Muniswamy) said he will make sure that the next Ganpati visarjan procession marks a presence at the clock tower,” Ahmed said.

He added that section 144 had been in place in Kolar for a week. Despite that, the BJP workers conducted a rally. “The administration could do nothing. They imposed a ban on gathering, so Muslims don’t object to the removal of Islamic flags last week but allowed a communal mob to create disturbance in front of Masjids. It seems the laws are only for Muslims.”