Mangaluru, Feb 4: Members of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal on Wednesday February 4 protested against the ban on VHP leader Pravin Togadia from entering Bengaluru between February 5 and February 11.
Togadia was supposed to take part in the Hindu Virat Samavesha to be held on February 8 in Bengaluru, but given his track record of making provocative speeches, Bengaluru commissioner M N Reddi issued orders barring his entry into Bengaluru from February 5 to 11.
Condemning the ban, the VHP and Bajrang Dal went on protests across the state on Wednesday. In Mangaluru, the district units of the two outfits held the protest at PVS junction. The protestors sat on dharna and blocked the road for nearly half an hour, thus bringing traffic to a halt at this busy spot.
Addressing the protest, Bajrang Dal leader Sharan Pumpwell said, “Dr Pravin Togadia was supposed to take part in Hindu Virat Samavesha on February 8 in Bengaluru as part of VHP golden jubilee celebrations, but Bengaluru police banned him from February 5 to 11.
“The state governement is following anti-Hindu policy. This is a democracy. Dr Togadia has visited eight districts in the state, and no unrest or turmoil was created. He has taken part in conventions in various other states too. Though there are cases against him, he has not been convicted,” he said.
“The state government shoud withdraw the ban immediately and allow Togadia to take part in the programme. If not, several people from Dakshina Kannada will take part in this convention (at Bengaluru), and if any untoward incidents take place, the state government would be responsible,” he warned.
VHP district leader Jitendra Kottary saidn, “From past 67 years, the Congress government has been following anti-Hindu policies. Even in the state, the Congress government, through its anti-Hindu policy, is digging its own grave. Hindu Samavesha is being organized from past several years, but only Congress government has opposed it. When Owaisi and Benn Hinn can come to the state and make speeches, why should Pravin Togadia not come?
“VHP strongly condemns this ban. If peace gets disrupted over this issue, the state government will be responsible,” he cautioned.
VHP leader Jagadish Shenava also spoke on the same lines and warned of intensifying the protests if the ban was not lifted. “Let this be a warning to the state government,” he said.
After the protestors obstucted the traffic for nearly half an hour, the police intervened and dispersed the crowd.