KARNATAKA

Karnad, group detained in Hassan

A human chain being organised by the Progressive Forum in Hassan on Sunday in protest against the detention of its members who were on their way to attend a convention in Chikmagalur. - Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

A human chain being organised by the Progressive Forum in Hassan on Sunday in protest against the detention of its members who were on their way to attend a convention in Chikmagalur. - Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy  

A human chain being organised by the Progressive Forum in Hassan on Sunday in protest against the detention of its members who were on their way to attend a convention in Chikmagalur. - Photo: V. Sreenivasa Murthy

HASSAN DEC. 7. Members of the Progressive Forum, led by the Jnanpith award winner, Girish Karnad, on Sunday formed a human chain at Narasimharaja Circle here and staged a dharna in protest against the authorities' refusal to grant them permission to participate in a "convention for communal harmony" organised by the Bababudangiri Souharda Vedike.

A group of well-known personalities, including Mr. Karnad, G.K. Govinda Rao, K. Marulasiddappa, Arundhati Nag, and K. Ramadas, the State Secretary of Communist Party of India (Marxists), G.N. Nagaraj, and the leaders of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), S.Y. Gurushanth and Vijaya, were detained at Halebeed on Saturday midnight on their way to Chikmagalur and brought to Hassan.

Mr. Karnad took out a procession here on Sunday morning along with members of the DYFI to protest against the detention.

The noted writer, Bhanu Mustaq, and the Rajya Sabha member, H.K. Javare Gowda, participated. The protesters shouted slogans against the State Government and the Sangh Parivar.

Addressing them, Prof. Ramadas, a rationalist, said their detention was illegal and alleged that the Government was supporting communal forces.

The Superintendent of Police, Prabhakara H. Rane, said that the leaders of the Progressive Forum were detained as a precautionary measure, and steps taken for their safety and security.

The group led by Mr. Karnad returned to Bangalore in the evening.

Threat to democracy

Prof. Ramadas said here on Sunday that the activities of the Bajarang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) were harming democratic values in the State.

Addressing a rally organised by some organisations here to protest against the authorities refusal to grant permission to a group to participate in the convention in Chikmagalur, he alleged that the State Government had succumbed to pressure from the Sangh Parivar.

He called upon the people to oppose the communal agenda of the Sangh Parivar.

G. Ramakrishna, former professor of English, said the Government had let down secular society by allowing the Sangh Parivar to hold the Datta Jayanti celebrations in Chikmagalur.

Mr. Marulasiddappa, writer, said that the Government had provided security to the VHP leader, Praveen Togadia, and others, and denied permission to members of secular and progressive forces to attend a convention.

Ms. Arundati Nag, theatre personality, called upon the people to support secular forces in their fight against fundamentalists.

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