Pinarayi arrives in Mangaluru amid hartal, launches tirade against RSS

A deserted Hampanakatta locality in Mangaluru on Saturday.  

On a day hartal was called by Sangh Parivar groups opposing his visit to Mangaluru, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan launched an attack on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) at Karavali Sauharda Rally here on Saturday. Life in many parts of Dakshina Kannada was affected because of the hartal.

Even though Mangaluru city had unprecedented security in view of Mr. Vijayan’s visit, about 20 buses, a majority of them belonging to Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), were pelted with stones at different parts of the city. The city was deserted; most shops remained shut through the day, autorickshaws were scarce and most buses were off the road. Kerala had also suspended bus services to the city. However, private vehicles plied as usual, giving a breather to students attending the I PU examination.

Speaking at the rally, organised by the CPI(M), in the evening, Mr. Vijayan said though the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) “made all efforts to prevent him from landing in Mangaluru”, he managed to participate in the rally. He alleged that the RSS was antithetical to secularism and believed in suppressing the minority communities. Going into the history of the RSS and its mouthpiece Organiser, he said the Union government was now “controlled by the RSS” and its agenda.

‘It is intolerant’

The RSS was intolerant of freedom of expression, he alleged, and recalled that the organisation on different occasions had asked Jnanpith award winner the late U.R. Ananthamurthy and actors Aamir Khan, Shahrukh Khan and Nandita Das to go to Pakistan.

As many as 17 KSRTC buses, including a Volvo bus heading to Bengaluru in the afternoon, were damaged in stone-throwing. Yet, the corporation continued with its operations, including city services, in view of the I PU exams, said divisional controller, KSRTC Mangaluru, Vivekanand Hegde. A private city bus too was pelted with stones during the day.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad and its affiliate organisations had called for hartal, alleging that Mr. Vijayan was “responsible” for the increased political killings in Kerala.

The Police Department had deployed over 4,000 personnel, including those drawn form neighbouring districts and reserve police platoons, to maintain law and order. The police had detained several right-wing leaders on Friday night.

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 12:46:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Pinarayi-arrives-in-Mangaluru-amid-hartal-launches-tirade-against-RSS/article17369175.ece

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