Security has been beefed up in Bengaluru in the backdrop of Hindu activists and Federation of Chamarajpet Citizens observing bandh on Tuesday demanding retaining of the Idgah Maidan as a playground and not to accede the land to the Waqf Board.
There is a tense situation in the surrounding areas of Idgah Maidan. The traders in the locality have extended their support to the bandh and posted handbills regarding it in front of their shops and commercial establishments.
A holiday has been declared in schools and colleges in the locality. The police department has 4 ACP’s, 12 Police Inspectors, 30 PSI, 60 ASI’s, 350 police constables and 4 platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) and 3 platoons of City Armed Reserve (CAR).
About 50 organisations, including Hindu Jana Jagriti Samithi, Vishwa Sanatana Parishat, Sri Rama Sena, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Jagaran Samithi have extended their support to the bandh.
Home Minister Araga Jnanendra has stated that he had given directions to maintain the law and order situation in the region during the bandh. Additional police security would be given during the bandh, he added.
The Hindu organisations have carried out door to door campaigns in Chamarajpet to create awareness among the people for the need to retain the Idgah Maidan as a playground.
They have also slammed the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) for its dual stand over the property. Initially, BBMP claimed that Idgah Maidan is its property; later the civic agency denied it. Hindu organisations have slammed the BBMP and urged the BJP government to intervene and resolve the matter.
The activists have also stated that as per the Supreme Court order, Muslims should be allowed to conduct prayers on two occasions in a year and rest of the days the ground should be used as the playground.
The Hindu activists and local organisations are also taking a massive bike rally Monday from Sirsi Circle to Idgah Maidan.
Chamarajpet locality is home to sizable number of Muslims and is considered as one of the sensitive regions in Bengaluru. Congress MLA Zameer Ahmad Khan represents the constituency. Hindu activists have warned him that he is not MLA for one religion and asked him not to provoke Hindus. They have also maintained that he will have to face consequences if he continues backdoor games regarding Idgah Maidan. MLA Zameer Ahmad had committed himself to retain the Idgah Maidan as a playground.
With the BBMP elections around the corner and the state entering the election year, the authorities are concerned about the development.
Meanwhile, the Hindu organisations have sought permission from BBMP to erect temporary stalls to sell Lord Ganesh’s idols in the disputed Idgah Maidan. The civic agency had denied permission to hold the International Yoga Day earlier in the Maidan.
The Waqf Board has clarified that it would hoist the Tricolour during Independence Day. However, the Hindu activists are demanding permission to celebrate Hindu festivals there as well.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)