On October 10, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Provincial Coordinator Sharan Pumpwell was prohibited from entering Udupi district for attending the Hindu Samajotsava programme. As per media reports, Pumpwell was planning to attend the closing ceremony of Shaurya Jagran Rath Yatra and Hindu Samajotsava that had been organised by VHP-Bajrang Dal in Udupi on Tuesday at the MGM stadium on Manipal road. As the Shaurya chariot procession entered Udupi from Mangaluru, Sharan Pumpwell was restricted by the police on the border of Udupi for violating the bail rule imposed by order of the court.
It is essential to note here that the police were acting on the basis of the prohibitive directive that was a part of his conditional bail, issued by the court in August 2023, which barred Pumpwell from moving outside Dakshin Kannada without the prior permission of the court.
What was the case against Pumpwell and the order of the Court?
On August 3, a protest march had been organised at the parking area near the Rajangana auditorium of Sri Krishna Mutt in Udupi in connection with alleged case of voyeurism involving three paramedical diploma students. In the said case, three women students had allegedly attempted to record another girl inside the washroom. Since the victim and the accused belonged to different faiths, the whole incident was given a communal colour,
At the aforementioned protest, as per a report of Vartha Bharati, Pumpwell had stated: “As protectors of Hinduism, we will give an appropriate reply to the jihadi monsters. Such attacks must end right now. Hindu mothers should wake up and move from handling vessels and brooms to handling weapons to reply to the injustice.” He had also urged the gathering to remain vigilant against trouble-makers and respond to them fittingly.
Following the said protest, a suo-moto case had been registered by the Udupi Town Police against Pumpwell and Dinesh Mendon, Bajrang Dal Dakshina Kannada district president, for the alleged provocative speeches that had been delivered by them at the protest.
Notably, Pumpwell was booked for his call to women to take up arms to protest those from their community when they are in danger. Mendon was booked for his alleged threat of attacks on Muslim community if they do not stop from meddling with affairs of Hindu.
Although, on August 2023, Sharan Pumpwell had been granted a conditional anticipatory bail by the Udupi court in connection with this case by the Principal District and Sessions Court, Udupi, it had come with the certain conditions. As per the order, Pumpwell was not to leave Dakshina Kannada district without prior authorization. In addition to this, the two had also been directed by the court to not hamper with the investigation and trial and cooperate with investigation officer with the investigation of the case. The order had also stated that the two released should not threaten prosecution witnesses and tamper prosecution evidence.
As a consequence of this order, the authorities prevented Pumpwell from participating in the Hindu Samajotsava in Udupi. It is crucial to highlight here that failure to adhere to these bail conditions may result in the arrest of Pumpwell for violating the terms of his release. As per local media reports, it has been provided that Sharan Pumpwell decided not to participate in the function and returned from Hejamady after being informed of the Udupi police’s order.
Prior cases against Sharan Pumpwell:
It is essential to highlight here that Sharan Pumpwell is a repeated offender who regularly indulges in anti-Muslim diatribe. In February 2023, another case had been filed against Pumpwell for delivering a hate speech targeting Muslims and promoting violence.
On January 29, 2023 Pumpwell had publicly stated that their Hindutva “activists” were involved in the murder of Mohammed Fazil in order to avenge the death of Praveen Nettaru in Sullia. Addressing the VHP’s Shourya Yatra in Ullal, he had stated that Hindus demonstrated their power in Gujarat, but it was not a massacre. Bajrang Dal is prepared to fight if necessary. “When Praveen Nettaru was murdered, the entire Hindu community cried,” Pumpwell had been quoted as saying by the New Indian Express. “We cried because a good karyakartha had been sacrificed. But our karyakartas did not remain silent. In Surathkal, we murdered Fazil in broad daylight. You must have seen the video of his horrible murder. That is our strength,” Pumpwell had said.
Continuing to spread his anti-Muslim ideology, Pumpwell had stated that Ullal requires a Hindu MLA. “There could be a lot of terrorists in Ullal. If the NIA conducts searches, they must be tracked down. “Even though PFI is illegal, their employees are scheming to assassinate our activists,” he further asserted, according to the New Times Express.
Reportedly, in his speech, Pumpwell had further said that “A Hindu is never a weak one. They can never be incompetent. We have proven our strength to the world. Remember what happened in Gujarat? There were 58 Karsevaks travelling on a train to build the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. They were set ablaze.”
Pumpwell had further incited his audience by reportedly saying that “How did Gujarat reply? No Hindus sat in their homes. They came to the streets & entered each and every house. For the murder of 58 Karsevaks, how many succumbed in Gujarat? Almost 2,000 people were killed in Gujarat.”
Days after the afore-mentioned speech, the police in Karnataka’s Tumakuru registered a case against him. The case against Pumpwell had been registered at the Thilak Park police station in Tumakuru town under section 295 (a) (Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).