The police said the banners were put up by Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.
The Mangaluru police removed banners put up at the Kadri Sri Manjunatha temple fair that prohibited Muslims from carrying out trading and business activity near the temple on Thursday, January 19. Police sources said the banners were put up by Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal.
The fair started on January 15 and will end on January 21. The banners put up by right-wing outfits mentioned the cooker blast in Mangaluru on November 19 for which a man named Mohammed Shariq was arrested and alleged that his primary target was the Kadri Manjunatha temple. The banner also said people with such a ‘mindset’ and those who opposed idol worship cannot engage in trade and business during the fair near the place of worship.
The banners also stated that only traders who believed in the rituals and ceremonies of the Hindu religion will be allowed to continue with trade and business at the temple. However, the temple administration which falls under the Religious Endowment department did not approve of the banner that was put up in the vicinity of the temple fair. The police removed the banners with a view to maintaining peace and harmony. No complaints have been filed so far in this connection, police said.
Economic boycotts of Muslims at temple fairs have happened multiple times in Karnataka in the past year. In March 2022, the All India Lawyers’ Association for Justice had criticised the Karnataka government for covertly supporting these groups. “Justifications invoked by the temples of pressure from Hindutva groups is nothing but vigilantism that is taking the law into its own hands to deprive communities of their rights. By permitting only Hindu businesses to sell and by discriminating against Muslim businesses, what is being caused and perpetuated is an economic boycott against the Muslim community. This economic boycott is in direct violation of Article 15 of the Constitution which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of, inter alia, religion,” their statement had said.
With PTI inputs
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