In a late-night operation on Monday, the equestrian statue of 12th century reformer Basavanna (Basaveshwara) located at Basava Vana was shifted to the premises of Mahatma Gandhi Park in Hubballi.
According to the municipal authorities, the shifting was done to facilitate the work on the flyover work in the city. However the followers of Basavanna have expressed anguish over the development, saying that the shifting had been carried out without intimating Lingayat organisations and without taking them into confidence.
Office-bearers of Lingayat organisations Chintamani Sindhagi, S.V. Patil, and, S.B. Jodalli and others, who visited MG. Park where the statue had been on a tractor trolley after removing it from Basava Vana, expressed displeasure over the manner in which the whole shifting was done.
They said when the issue of shifting the statue of Basavanna was mooted by the municipal authorities, members of various Lingayat organisations had requested the authorities to give it in writing about their assurance to reinstall the statue again at Basava Vana after the flyover work was completed.
They said that they had even demanded that the height of the statue should be raised to the level of the flyover so that the statue was visible to those moving on the flyover.
Mr. Chintamani, Mr. Patil, and others said that the authorities had failed to give written assurance on the issue and now they had suddenly shifted the statue in a late-night operation, which was highly condemnable. Lingayat organisations would protest if immediate remedial action was not taken, they said.