Reports have emerged of violence breaking out on Mahashivratri day at Ladle Mashak Dargah in Kalburgi District’s Aland. It has come to light that a Muslim mob pelted stones on Hindus and police personnel following which the Karnataka Police have arrested 167 persons, including 10 women in connection with the incident and the district administration has clamped prohibitory orders till Friday. Investigations have also revealed that the violence was planned.
The violence had broken out when ‘Ganga Abhisheka’ (cleansing of Shivling with water of holy river Ganga) and worshipping was performed to the Raghava Chaitanya Shivling, which is located in the premises of the Ladle Mashak Dargah on Maha Shivratri. When the worship was performed, the Muslim mob suddenly started stone-pelting and resorted to violence.
The police are hunting down miscreants in connection with the incident and more arrests are likely to be made. The police have seized piles of stones, rods, sticks from the terraces of the houses. The police are investigating the conspirators behind the planning of violence.
The locals have alleged that due to police atrocities and raids in the wee hours, an 83-year-old woman has died. However, Isha Panth, SP, Kalaburagi, clarified that the aged woman died due to age-related factors and it was falsely propagated that she died due to police assault. She further stated that the situation has been reined in and precautions have been taken to ensure a law and order situation in the city.
However, the tense situation still continues and elaborate security arrangements have been made in the city. The crowd, which was involved in violence, also pelted stones on the vehicles of Union Minister for State for Chemicals and Fertilizers, New and Renewable Energy Bhagwanth Khuba, local MLAs, and the BJP leaders. The vehicles of the district commissioner and SP were damaged in the stone-pelting incident.
It must be mentioned that the Kalaburagi district police had prohibited the entry of Srirama Sena founder Pramod Muthalik, Hindu activist Chaitra Kundapura and Siddalinga Swamiji to the Kalaburagi district. The decision of the district administration was opposed by the Hindu organizations.
Siddalinga Swamiji was supposed to head the cleansing program at the temple that was desecrated. In this regard, OpIndia says “The Hindu groups wanted to cleanse the idol by performing puja after some miscreants had thrown human feces on the Shivalinga recently. Hence, the Hindu activist group Sri Rama Sene had proposed the purification of the Raghavachaitanya Shivalinga at the dargah on March 1 to mark Maha Shivaratri”
Hindu activist Chaitra Kundapur, who tried to enter the district was taken into custody by the Shahabad police. Pramod Muthalik had stated that the district commissioner of Kalaburagi was taking an anti-Hindu stand.
A group of Muslims had already gathered outside the Dargah when Hindu groups had undertaken a peaceful march towards the temple. A procession had been planned on the same day by local Muslims to mark the occasion of Shab-e-Barat meant to pay respects to the dead at the shared dargah.
As the Hindus neared the Dargah, the mob that assemble with sharp weapons, sticks, and other weapons, flashed them at the former while the dargah committee office-bearers locked the gate refusing entry to the Hindus within the premises. “As tension gripped the city, the police officials deployed additional forces to maintain law and order. The police used drones to keep a strict vigil on the activities…meanwhile, a Muslim mob assembled on the streets of Kalaburgi to condemn the arrests of attackers. They demanded the release of persons accused of pelting stones at Hindu groups and police personnel”, says OpIndia.
Ladle Mashak Dargah, is named after Ladle Mashak, a 14th-century Sufi saint. The premises of Dargah has the Samadhi of Hindu saint Ragahava Chaitanya, who lived in the 15th century. According to sources, Raghava Chaitanya is the guru of Samarth Ramadas, who was revered by Chatrapati Shivaji.
The Shivling has been erected on the Samadhi of Raghava Chaitanya and it is known as Raghava Chaitanya Shivling. As the differences cropped up between the Hindu and Muslim communities, the matter of ownership of land reached the court. Hindus who visited Ladle Mashak Dargah, also used to worship Raghava Chaitanya Shivling.
The problem started when the Raghava Chaitanya Shivling in the premises of dargah was desecrated. Aland BJP MLA Subhash Guttedar condemned the incident and urged proper protection of Shivling. Later, miscreants released abusive videos of MLA Guttedar and made them viral on social media. Hindu outfits have condemned and staged a protest in this regard.
(With IANS inputs)