Large gatherings have been banned within a 500-metre range of the Juma Masjid in Karnataka’s Mangaluru from Tuesday night after a Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader warned of an agitation along the lines of Ram Mandir after temple-like architectural design was discovered from underneath the mosque on April 21 during renovation work, reported news agency ANI.
After the VHP leader’s threat, the Mangaluru authorities imposed Section 144 from 8 pm on Tuesday till 8 am on Thursday. The temple-like structure was reportedly found by authorities late last month while conducting renovation work in the mosque located in the outskirts of Mangaluru in Malali.
In a meeting held by the VHP on Sunday, it was decided that the ‘Thamboola Prashne’ ritual will be held before May 26 in the village (not around the mosque premises), followed by ‘Ashtamangala Prashne’ to ascertain the presence of Hindu gods.
Earlier today, the VHP and Bajrang Dal performed ‘Tambula Prashne’ at Sri Ramanjaneya Bhajana Mandira in Malali, as reported by ANI. The ritual was performed in a peaceful environment. There were enough forces deployed to maintain law and order in the area, Mangaluru Police Commissioner NS Kumar was quoted as saying by ANI. Kumar further said that he was hopeful that the situation would remain under control as both sides have decided to fight the matter in the court.
“Situation peaceful. Hindu organisation held a ritual today that started at 8.30 am and continued till 11am. Force deployed wherever necessary. Villagers ensured no untoward incident will happen. Both parties have agreed to fight it in court,” Kumar told ANI.
“All Hindus here strongly believe there was definitely a Hindu god. After all these rituals we will form a committee to regain the place. The fight might be like the Ram Mandir campaign,” the VHP leader was quoted by news agencies as saying.
“The Archaeological department should conduct a total survey to find out the truth,” said local BJP MLA Bharath Shetty to reporters.