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Karnataka: Only Hindus to be allowed to open shops during the historic Kote Marikamba Jatre in Shivamogga

Hindutva leaders have cited the murder of Hindutva activist Harsha at Shivamogga, who was recently killed by radical Islamists, as the reason to allow only Hindus to setup shops during the religious event.

Days after the Marigudi Temple administration in Karnataka’s Udupi decided to allocate shops to only Hindu vendors in the annual fair, a similar decision has been taken by the organising committee of the historic Kote Marikamba Jatra in Shivamogga to allow Hindu shopkeepers during the five-day festival beginning on March 22.

According to the reports, members of the Hindu activists’ groups, leaders of the BJP, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, had requested the temple administration that the shops should be allocated only to Hindus, and non-Hindus should not be allowed to do business during the festival. Following the appeal made by the Hindu activist groups, the festival committee has decided to cancel the existing tender and allot the shops based on the recommendations of the Hindu activist groups.

Kote Marikamba Jatre, held once in two years, attracts lakhs of Hindus from neighbouring cities and districts. It was last held in February 2020. Some of the residents claimed that even a few Muslims and Christians also offer ‘harake’ to the deity to fulfil their wishes.

The temple administration committee had earlier allocated a tender of managing shops and collecting fees to another individual for Rs. 9.1 lakh. He had allotted shops to Muslim traders too. However, due to opposition from Hindu activist groups, Chikkanna, who was granted the tender, cancelled and demanded the return of his money from the committee.

On March 19, the committee again held a meeting with representatives of Hindutva groups. The issue was resolved after the tender was handed over to Hindutva groups for the allotment of shops as per their wish.

“The committee had never taken a stand against any particular religion all these years. But, some people launched a campaign on social media platforms against allowing Muslim shopkeepers. Only three days are left for the festival to start. We agreed to their demand in the interest of smooth conduct of the festival, which attracts thousands of people,” said SK Mariyappa, president of the committee.

Hindutva leaders have cited the murder of Hindutva activist Harsha at Shivamogga, who was recently killed by radical Islamists, as the reason to allow only Hindus to setup shops during the religious event.

Earlier, we had reported regarding a similar decision that was taken by the Hosa Marigudi temple in Kaup. The committee had decided to allow only stalls by Hindus during the annual event ‘Suggi Mari Pooja’ after Muslims in the coastal region shut down their shops on March 17 to protest against the Karnataka High Court’s decision on the hijab issue.

The temple administration committee had said that they had passed a resolution allowing only Hindus to participate in the auction of shops. The auction to allot shops to sell flowers, coconuts, hens, and other products would be open for Hindus. The temple administration committee had also added that the individuals who participate in the auction have been informed not to sub-contract their shops to any Muslim traders to avoid law and order issues.

The pro-Hindu organisations asked the temple committee to deny Muslims the stalls as they have been opposing the recent Karnataka High Court’s decision to ban hijab inside the educational institutions.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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