Swabhimani Vokkaligara Seva Trust, a forum of Vokkaliga leaders, has called for Mandya bandh on July 27 in protest against searches conducted by the Income Tax Department in educational institutions run by religious maths.

The bandh call, however, has received criticism from various quarters.

Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Communist Party of India (Marxist), Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha (KRRS), Mandya District Exploited Classes Forum, Karnataka Dalit Sangharsh Samiti, Dalit Sangharsh Samiti and a few other organisations have criticised the bandh call and welcomed the searches on religious institutions.

Talking to The Hindu here on Wednesday, CPI(M) leader M. Puttamadu termed the bandh call a dangerous development.

“A few vested interests are trying to create differences between people. Everyone should criticise the bandh call,” he said. The CPI(M) welcomes I-T searches on educational institutions run by maths, he said, and added that opposing such raids was nothing but supporting illegal activities in such institutions, Mr. Puttamadu said.

Alleging that the trust’s leaders are trying to divide society in the name of castes, the CITU has urged the State government to curb such activities.

“Leaders of the trust are setting a bad precedent. Some time ago, they did a similar thing by taking out a procession in support of the accused in the Abalavadi honour killing case,” CITU leader C. Kumari said.

At a press conference here on Wednesday, KRRS State vice-president V. Ashok, KRRS leader K.S. Nanjunde Gowda and Akhila Bharat Veerashaiva Mahasabha general secretary B.S. Vagish Prasad welcomed the I-T searches on educational institutions of religious institutions.

The people who gave such a bandh call should have some common sense, MDECF president S. Puttankaiah said.

DSS State coordinator Guruprasad Keregodu and KDSS State convener M.B. Srinivas too strongly opposed the bandh call.

When contacted, the former Mandya MLA M. Srinivas said, “I’m against holding ‘rasta roko’ and protests during the bandh.”

Defended

Trust leader Naganna Gowda defended the bandh call. “The I-T Department might have the power to discharge its duties, but we are deeply hurt by the searches on the premises of Vokkaliga institutions. We will observe the bandh,” Mr. Naganna Gowda said.

Bandh called in protest against searches conducted by I-T Department

in educational institutions run by religious maths

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