After Jamia Masjid in Srirangapatna, Malali Masjid in Dakshina Kannada, and Peer Shah Dargah in Bidar, Karnataka is seeing another row loom large over another site – the Eidgah Maidan in Bengaluru.
Though the state was passing through a phase of communal unrest following the hijab crisis and series of related events, the capital city, known as IT and BT hub of the country, had remained immune to all these.
However, now Hindu organisations have taken objection over the Eidgah Maidan in Chamrajpet area “being treated as the property of minorities” and decided to celebrate the Independence Day on August 15 in the grounds and hoist the tricolour. They have also taken a decision to celebrate Yoga Day on June 21 on the grounds.
Hindu activist Pathapat Srinivas on Thursday said that Hindu leaders are meeting Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai with a request to hoist the ‘tiranga’ (tricolour) and celebrate the Yoga Day there.
“Congress MLA from Chamaraj Pet, Zameer Ahmad Khan, has been repeatedly making speeches that he would get the biggest masjid in Bengaluru constructed in 2.5 acres of Edgah Maidan. There are plans of putting Leader of Opposition Siddaramaiah to contest elections from Chamrajpet,” he alleged.
Srinivas also claimed that the Supreme Court judgment in connection with the Eidgah Maidan was “tampered with”.
“There are corrections and no short signatures are found in the order. There will be mention of the number of corrections, which are not found,” he said.
“The Bengaluru civic agency had not contested the claims of the opposite party in the Supreme Court, which upheld the injunction order of the High Court not allowing constructions in Edgah Maidan by the civic agency,” he added.
“We will demand from CM Bommai that Edgah Maidan should be preserved as a public property and cultural activities of all religions must be permitted,” Srinivas said.
The Hindu activists have vented out their ire on the police department for not allowing celebration of the Hindu festivals and programmes in the grounds. After the row came to the front, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has stated that the Edgah Maidan is one of the play grounds owned by it in the city.
However, Muslim leaders vehemently argue that it is a property of the Wakf Board. They are also stating that they will not allow the celebration of Yoga Day at any cost on the premises.
Hindu activists have met BBMP’s Special Commissioner Rangappa on Thursday seeking permission for the celebration of the Independence Day and Yoga Day. The Sri Rama Sene, Vishwa Sanatan Parishad, and Vande Mataram Samaja Seva Samsthe have also submitted applications in this regard.
However, Muslim leaders are opposing this and stating that they will hoist Indian tricolour and will not let anyone to step in there. In turn, Hindu activists are planning to demand removal of the religious structure (two minarets with the wall) from the Eidgah Grounds as it does not belong to one religious group. Muslim leaders say that this will be resisted.