Members, a majority of them women, from 45 organisations take out protest march

Leaders and members of the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Janata Dal (Secular), the Karnataka Janata Paksha and members from 45 organisations condemned a private TV news channel for what they called defaming Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala and its Dharmadhikari Veerendra Heggade and his family by taking out a protest march from the Government Junior College Grounds to the Deputy Commissioner’s office here on Tuesday.

Before the protest march, a large gathering assembled at the college grounds.

Addressing the agitators, MLC and district president of the Janata Dal(S) M.R. Hulinayakar said that intellectuals and those with so-called progressive groups should stop issuing “defamatory statements” against Dr. Heggade and his family. He said that it is not correct on the part of progressive groups to relate an alleged rape and murder of a 17-year-old student of Ujire to Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala and Dr. Heggade’s family.

He said that even after Dr. Heggade issued a clarification, many were still deliberately dragging his name in the matter.

BJP leader B.C. Nagesh demanded that a high-level inquiry be instituted into the rape and murder case. He alleged that a few sections of the media are carrying false reports on Sri Kshetra Dharmasthala and Dr. Heggade and this protest, he said, is a warning to them.

Karnataka Janata Paksha leader Jyothi Ganesh said that Dr. Heggade’s contribution to society is significant.

Members, a majority of them women, from 45 organisations, including Janajagruthi Vedike, Basava Sene, Jaya Karnataka Sangha, Kannada Sene, Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, Rotary Central, Hazrat Tipu Sultan Vedike, Dakshina Kannada Mitra Vrunda, District Kollegeri Samiti, Hindu Jagran Vedike and District Hotel Owners Association, participated in the protest march.

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