Karnataka masjid row: Hindu groups perform ‘gana yagna’ for construction of temple at mosque site | Azad Times

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The controversy surrounding the Malali mosque erupted in 2022, when Hindu groups claimed that a temple-like structure was discovered during the mosque's renovation

The Malali Masjid controversy has resurfaced in coastal Karnataka as right wing Hindu organisations conducted a 'gana yagna' or ritual sacrifice a couple of kilometres from the disputed mosque’s site. The yagna, which was the latest act of provocation since Sangh Parivar outfits claimed that the mosque was an ancient temple, was performed on Thursday, March 16 at Ramanjaneya Bhajana Mandira in Malali, which is around two kilometres from the mosque. They were seeking divine blessings for their temple campaign at Malali which is in Thenka Ulipady village, around 23 km from Mangaluru.

The ritual was attended by the BJP's Mangalore North MLA Y Bharat Shetty and Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Sharan Pumpwell. “The Gana yagna was held for public welfare and to establish peace in the area. I participated in the event and received prasadam but I have no other knowledge about the yagna,” Shetty said.

The controversy surrounding the Assayed Abdullahi Madani mosque in Malali erupted in May 2022, when Hindu groups claimed that pillars of an ancient temple had been discovered during the mosque's renovation.

At the time, the organisations also performed a 'tambula prashne' ritual, which involved an astrologer using betel leaves to answer a question. The question posed was whether or not there was a Hindu temple at the site of the Malali mosque. The astrologer who conducted the ritual, Gopalakrishna Panicker from Kerala, claimed to have found traces of Shaiva worship. The ritual was also carried out at the Ramanjaneya Bhajana Mandira.

The mosque is believed to be around 800 years old. Historians say that the architecture in mosques of the coastal region was inspired by local styles and that the same castes of artisans were involved in building temples and Jain Basadis as well as churches and mosques.

However, the intense campaign launched by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal snowballed and led to a legal battle. The Karnataka court has ordered the mosque management to halt the renovation work. The case is still pending.

Read: Mangaluru mosque claimed by Hindutva groups has syncretic architecture: Experts | The News Minute

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