MANGALORE: In a speech made at Udupi on January 17 2009, Sri Ram Sene leader Pramod Muthalik warned, “The Malegaon [blast] incident is just a ‘Jhalak’ [curtain-raiser] for similar events in the future.”
The speech was made at an event, ‘Hindu Dharma Jagruthi Sabhe,’ organised by the Hindu Janajagruthi Samiti at the MLN Rao stadium of the MGM College.
The speech, a video copy of which is available with The Hindu, has Mr. Muthalik justifying the Malegaon blast by saying that the time has come for Hindus to don a “militant avatar” (incarnation).
Lauding the blast accused Pragnya Singh Thakur, he says: “There is soon going to be a Pragnya Singh in every Hindu house.”
Amidst shouts of “Har Har Mahadev,” he asks the audience, “Imagine what we can achieve if every Hindu woman gives up the cooking ladle in favour of a bomb?”
Mr. Muthalik asks, “What is there to be afraid of while making these [above] statements?”
The Hindu Janajagruti Samithi, an affiliate of the Sri Ram Sene, has been organising similar rallies across the coastal districts with the intention of recruiting youth for the Dharma Shakti Sene.
At an event organised by the Samithi on March 4, 2008 at the Nehru Maidan here that was reported in The Hindu, the members were dressed in military-style camouflage uniforms.
There were registration counters at the venue where interested people could join the Sene. The counters displayed weapons such as knives, swords and air-rifles. The person manning one of the counters told The Hindu that any ‘Hindu’ could register for the ‘army’ and would be given free lessons in the use of arms. All over the venue there were gory posters of victims of terror attacks.
The entire meeting area was cordoned off by opaque cloth walls that made the happenings inside invisible to passers-by.
Over 2,000 people, including local BJP MLA N. Yogish Bhat and head of the Pejawar Math in Udupi Visvesha Tirtha attended the event. Journalists were forced to wear ‘tilaks’ on the forehead at the entrance. However, the organisers relented following protests from the journalists whose identity cards were checked.
Reacting to the event at that time, Superintendent of Police N. Satish Kumar had said, “The tapes of the event are being reviewed. Law will take its course.”
The Samithi organised a similar event in Mangalore at the same venue on January 11 this year, where a large number of prominent Sri Ram Sene members were present. While recruitment counters were put up this time too, they did not display any weapons. Also, members of the organisation did not wear camouflage uniforms.