FIR over hate speech and brandishing of swords at Udupi Durga Daud event

Photos reported by the media led to public criticism, with questions also raised about the role of police as BJP MLA Raghupathy Bhat was a part of it.

brandishing of swords
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The Karnataka police have booked a ‘ group of people’, for allegedly brandishing swords during a Durga Daud procession at the Kadiyali Mahishamardini temple in Shivalli village in Karnataka’s Udupi district on October 2. Police have also registered a hate speech case in connection with the event. In a complaint filed with the Udupi police on Wednesday, a local resident said that 10-15 participants of the Durga Daud procession had created fear among people by brandishing swords. Police said no arrest had yet been made in the case, Indian Express reports.

The Hindu Jagarana Vedike (HJV) procession taken out was reportedly in violation of the 1959 Arms Act, which prohibits public display of weapons, triggered a controversy after its pictures appeared on social media.

The role of the police had also been questioned following reports that Udupi BJP MLA Raghupathy Bhat was a part of the procession, for which the police had even provided security cover. It was also pointed out that, contrary to the mute behaviour and police inaction in this case, the police, had, suo motu booked five minors and 13 others for allegedly brandishing swords during an Eid-e-Milad-Un-Nabi event at Siddapura in Bengaluru on October 9.

Apart from this FIR, the Udupi police have booked HJV leader Srikanth Shetty, also a television reporter, over his speech at the October 2 event, where he said, “During Ayudha Pooja, Hindus should not worship cycles, mixers or grinders but they should worship weapons. Let us cultivate the mindset to use those weapons.”

The HJV leader also targeted Muslims girls at the centre of the hijab controversy in Udupi. Shetty said the girls had maligned the name of the coastal region and that the HJV had exposed their “true colours”. “Saffron turbans are now seen in the colleges. It is not worn for fashion but indicates that society is changing and there is awareness. If there is any issue in future, not just saffron turbans, you may see a thousand swords,” he said.

Besides Shetty, a complaint was also filed against a woman, identified as Kajal Hindustani over the same speech. The complainant is a local businessman.



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