It’s Vinayak Chaturthi blues for authorities in K’taka

The Ganesh Chaturthi festivities in Karnataka, which is to be celebrated on a grand scale after two years of Covid hiatus, is marred by the development of a controversy raging over holding the celebrations in the premises of Idgah Maidans of Bengaluru and Hubballi cities.

The authorities were keeping their fingers crossed over the turn of events. The court has permitted celebrations of Ganesh festival at Idgah Maidans of Bengaluru and Hubballi. The Waqf Board has challenged the court order in the Supreme Court regarding Bengaluru Idgah Maidan, the matter is expected to be taken up Tuesday. Meanwhile, the police department turned both controversial sites into police fortresses on Tuesday to avoid any untoward incidents.

The Socialist Democratic Party of India (SDPI) had announced that it will not allow the Ganesh festival to be celebrated at Bengaluru Idgah Maidan. R. Ashok, state Minister for Revenue reacted strongly, saying, “SDPI is no one to question what should be done at Idgah Maidan and the government will act as per the directions of the Supreme Court.”

“It is shameful that for 75 years, the Tricolour was not hoisted at Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru… All land in the state belongs to the Revenue department. The allotment to any institution has to be done by it. In the case of Idgah Maidan, the Revenue department has not allotted the said land to any party, it is very much government property,” Minister Ashok stated.

Following the war of words, the police department taking no chances with the security, conducted a flag march in the premises of Idgah Maidan and surrounding communally sensitive areas on Tuesday.

Following the order of Hubballi-Dharwad City Corporation to allow Ganesh festival for three days in the city’s Idgah Maidan. The authorities have taken preventive measures as any damage to the Idgah Tower in the premises could lead to clashes. Hindu activists have celebrated the development. In 1994, five persons were killed and hundreds injured in Hubballi police firing, when they tried to hoist the national flag.

Sources in the police department stated that this was a crucial phase and they will follow the orders by the government. Police personnel, including those attached to reserve forces have been roped in for deputation across the state following an unrest-like situation.

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