Karnataka: Heavy police deployment for Hanuman Sankirtan March in Srirangapatna

Dec 04, 2022

Srirangapatna (Karnataka) [India], December 4 : Ahead of the Hanuman Sankirtan March in Srirangapatna, a heavy police force has been deployed as precautionary measures to avoid any untoward incident, the Mandya district administration informed on Sunday.
The Hanuman bhakts have called for a Sankirtana Yatra, demanding the restoration of the Sri Anjaneya Temple in place of the Jamia Masjid, which the Hindu Jagarana Vedike claims belongs to Hindus. More than ten thousand people are expected to attend the Yatra in Srirangapatna, claimed the group further.
"In view of the law and order situation that may arrive due to the sensitivity of the issue, tight police security across Srirangapatna town has been arranged", said Yatish N, Superintendent of Police (SP) Mandya.
He further stated, 'Liquor sales are banned today as a precautionary measure" adding that, "CCTV cameras have been installed in sensitive areas of Srirangapatna".
Reportedly, the Hanuman devotees (Maladhari) have arranged a Sankirtana Yatra, from the Nimishamba Temple in Ganjam village to the Sriranganath Temple for their demand to re-establishing the Anjaneya Swamy temple at the site of the current Jamia Masjid. Ahead of the Sankirtana Yatra, saffron flags and flexes and a photo of Savarkar has been put up by the Pro-Hindu organization.
Against the backdrop of the Yatra, barricades have been placed around the mosque as a precautionary measure and more than a thousand policemen have been deployed, as per the sources. The Yatra is being carried out amidst the chants of Jai Shri Ram slogans, by the Pro-Hindu group carrying saffron flags.
The controversy started when Rishi Kumar, who headed the Kali Mutt in Chikkamagaluru, allegedly issued a controversial statement demanding the demolition of a mosque and construction of a Hanuman temple, back in January 2022. The Srirangapatna Police later arrested him in relation to the matter.
According to police, standing in front of the mosque, which is maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), he had said that this structure should also be demolished like the Babri mosque of Ayodhya.
In a video that went viral on social media, he claimed that the pillars, walls, and water tank on the premises of the mosque symbolised Hindu architecture, hence the mosque must be demolished.
"The Srirangapatna mosque was built on the site of the Hanuman temple and the temple was razed to make way for the mosque", he alleged, adding, "In 1784, the temple was demolished and a mosque was built there".
Earlier, in June 2022, members of right-wing groups gathered at Kirangur Junction in the historical Srirangapatna town to march to a mosque, which they claimed stands on the ruins of a Hanuman temple. The group members said they will enter the Jamia Masjid in the town and perform puja there.
Meanwhile, Section 144 CrPC was imposed in the area for 12 hours, between 6 am and 6 pm, in wake of the 'Srirangapatna Chalo' call given by the right-wing organisation officials.
In May this year, activists of the right-wing organisations filed a memorandum with the Deputy Commissioner of Mandya seeking permission for Hindus to offer prayers at the mosque, which they claimed stands over the ruins of a Hanuman temple. The activists claimed the structure had been originally a temple that was converted into a mosque.
The activists claimed that Jamia Masjid had been built on the Anjaneya Temple. They also claimed that there is historical proof that the mosque was Anjaneya Temple. They demanded permission to perform puja in the mosque.