Nuggikeri incident was ‘retaliatory action’, says Arvind Bellad

Muslim leaders speaking with the temple trust members at Nuggikeri Hanuman temple  on the outskirts of Dharwad on Monday.

Muslim leaders speaking with the temple trust members at Nuggikeri Hanuman temple on the outskirts of Dharwad on Monday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

A day after the police arrested four persons in connection with the vandalising of stalls owned by Muslim vendors, Hubballi-Dharwad (West) MLA Arvind Bellad has courted controversy by terming the vandalism on the Nuggikeri Hanuman temple premises as a “retaliatory action by Hindutva outfits to certain actions by Muslims”.

Speaking to presspersons in Dharwad on Monday, Mr. Bellad said that although he did not justify the vandalism, it was being seen that Muslims did not respect the Karnataka High Court’s order on hijab and a bandh call was given protesting against it.

Consequently, non Muslims had begun feeling that Muslims were not respecting the court orders. In retaliation Hindus were reacting in different ways and the Nuggikeri incident was one such example, he said, adding that Muslim leaders should see to it that no actions by Muslims violated the law of the land and then the other communities would also see to it that there would be no reaction.

Mr. Bellad also endorsed BJP national general secretary C.T. Ravi’s remark over the reactions to the Nuggikeri incident and termed it correct. Mr. Ravi had said that “those who expressed concern when watermelons were broken were silent when heads were broken”.

However, the MLA said he did not justify the vandalism of stalls and clarified that he was not against Muslim traders doing business on temple premises.

But Mr. Bellad commented on the attire of the Muslim vendors doing business on temple premises. He said: “But Muslims running business on temple premises sporting beard and skull cap could provoke devotees. They may start thinking that those who are on the temple premises may enter the temples one day. To avoid such incidents the Muslim leaders should think of remedial measures and guide the community members.”

He added that he was of the opinion that the leaders of both Hindu and Muslim communities should ensure that such things did not recur. He said there was need to find out the cause for such unrest and to find solution to such religious issues as the police could not be posted always to guard places of worship.

Meanwhile, Congress leader and Anjuman-e-Islam office-bearer Ismail Tamatgar has strongly reacted to Mr. Bellad’s statement and sought to know whey they (Hindutva activists) did not see the pyjama and beard of Muslims, when they were conducting funerals of non Muslims during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

He said it was not time to indulge in such acts for the sake of politics and he would appeal to those creating problem to allow the Muslims to observe Ramzan peacefully.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2022 9:37:21 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/nuggikeri-incident-was-retaliatory-action-says-arvind-bellad/article65311763.ece