PUTTUR: Security has been beefed up in Puttur ahead of the Virat Hindu Hrudaya Sangama organised jointly by the Vishwa Hindu Parishat (VHP) and Bajrang Dal on Friday.
Over 50,000 people are expected to participate in the event, which will be addressed by VHP leader Praveen Togadia.
“We held a meeting today with all the stakeholders, leaders of various communities and social and civic leaders who have pledged their support for the peaceful conduct of the programme. But we have also sent a strong message that we will take stern action against those who disturb the peace,” Superintendent of Police Dr S D Sharanappa told Express.
Ten platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police, two companies of Rapid Action Force (RAF), 600 other personnel will be deployed in and around Puttur.
The police have also begun random checking of vehicles that are entering and exiting Puttur. Inter-district checkposts have been set up at Sampaje (towards Kodagu and at Jalsoor (towards Kasargod district in Kerala).
The organisers have assured the district administration that they will ensure peace during the convention, the SP added.
The entire town has been decked up with saffron banners, buntings and tall cutouts of Togadia and other VHP leaders.
Togadia was banned from entering Karnataka in 2003 as the then Congress government feared that his speech could foment communal tension. After that Togadia has at least twice addressed events in Mangaluru and will be speaking for the first time in Puttur though he participated in the Akhil Bharatiaya Pratinidhi Sabha of the RSS in 2009.
The programme will start with processions from Darbe and Bolwar in Puttur town.Meanwhile, the VHP is also organising a Hindu convention in Chitradurga on Saturday where Togadia will be present.