The Karnataka Police have arrested 167 persons, including 10 women in connection with an incident of communal violence that rocked Aland town of Kalaburagi district on Maha Shivratri day. The investigations have revealed that the violence was planned, police sources said on Thursday.
The district administration has clamped prohibitory orders till Friday (March 5).
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 historical Ladle Mashak Dargah on Maha Shivratri. When the worship was performed, one group 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 is 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 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 MLA’s and the BJP leaders. The vehicles of the district commissioner and SP were damaged in the stone pelting incident.
The Eshwar temple and Dargah symbolises the Hindu-Muslim unity since long-time. 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 district administration was opposed by the Hindutva organisations. Siddalinga swamiji was supposed to head the cleansing religious programme at the desecrated temple.
Chaitra Kundapur, who tried to violate the orders and enter the district was taken into custody by the Shahabad police. Pramod Muthalik had stated that the district commissioner of Kalaburagi was taking anti-Hindu stand.
Ladle Mashak Dargah, is named after Ladle Mashak, a Sufi saint, who won the hearts of people in the 14th century. The premises of Dargah has the Samadhi of Hindu saint Ragahava Chaitanya, who lived in the 15th century. According to sources, Raghava Chaitanya is 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.