Bengaluru

Chamarajpet turns into fortress for I-Day at Idgah Maidan  

The national flag is seen in the foreground as Rapid Action force (RAF) and Karnataka police personnel patrol on the disputed Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru on Sunday.

The national flag is seen in the foreground as Rapid Action force (RAF) and Karnataka police personnel patrol on the disputed Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru on Sunday. | Photo Credit: PTI

Chamarajpet has turned into a fortress with heavy police deployment as the State government has organised a programme to hoist the tricolour at the controversial Idgah Maidan on Monday morning. 

As Hindutva organisations sought permission to hold a host of events at the Idgah Maidan in June, its ownership turned controversial as both the civic body and the Karnataka State Board of Auqaf claimed ownership. The BBMP recently turned down an application by the Wakf Board for khata in its name and declared the Karnataka Revenue Department as the default owner of the land, a decision being contested by the Wakf Board. 

Following this, Revenue Minister R. Ashok chaired a meeting and decided that the department will hoist the tricolour at the grounds. Assistant Commissioner will hoist the flag at 8 a.m. Monday with local MLA B. Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan and MP Tejaswi Surya as chief guests. Muslims have not opposed the Independence Day event at the grounds and had volunteered to hoist the flag. It can be recalled that the ruling BJP had led a similar campaign to hoist the tricolour at the grounds in the 1970s as well.

Home Minister Araga Jnanendra visited Idgah Maidan on Sunday evening with DG&IGP Praveen Sood and City Police Commissioner C.H. Pratap Reddy in tow and inspected security arrangements at the grounds. He said adequate security arrangements had been made and expressed confidence that the Independence Day would pass off without any untoward incident.

Over 850 police personnel, including Rapid Action Force commandos and eight platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP), have been deployed at the grounds, Laxman B. Nibargi, DCP (West), told mediapersons earlier in the day.

The city police have also conducted multiple route marches in Chamarajpet and surrounding areas of Valmikinagar, Azadnagar, and Tipunagar over the last two days. The police have also reportedly put the ground under constant surveillance of over 100 CCTV cameras, as they feel there was a threat to the Idgah arch at the grounds. 

Meanwhile, several Hindutva organisations, including BJP leaders like national general secretary C. T. Ravi, have demanded permission to install a Ganesha idol at the grounds for the festival in the month-end. However, the Revenue Department is yet to take a call on the issue.

Sources said the police and Intelligence officials have opposed the proposal on the grounds that it is feared that it will stir communal cauldron of the city and may lead to riots or a law and order situation. Sources in the Revenue Department said they were unlikely to permit Ganesha festival celebrations here.

75th Independence Day celebrations in Bengaluru
On August 15, 2022, the 75th year of independence was celebrated at Manekshaw Parade Grounds, in Bengaluru as part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. | Video Credit: K Murali Kumar


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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 1:55:29 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/chamarajpet-turns-into-fortress-for-i-day-at-idgah-maidan/article65769268.ece