Three-day Datta Jayanti celebrations

A view of Guru Dattatreya Bababudangiri Dargah near Chikkamagaluru.— Photo: Prakash Hassan

A view of Guru Dattatreya Bababudangiri Dargah near Chikkamagaluru.— Photo: Prakash Hassan

Pro-Hindutva groups are getting ready for the three-day Datta Jayanti celebrations beginning Tuesday, even as the State government is yet to resolve the title claims over the disputed Guru Dattatreya Bababudan Swami Dargah in Chikkamagaluru district, as per the direction of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the Sajjada Nasheen (hereditary administrator) has decided to file a contempt petition against the State government alleging that it has not complied with latest Supreme Court order.

The district administration has decided to install CCTV cameras at important junctions and deploy additional police force in Chikkamagaluru town and the shrine to maintain peace.

BJP MLA and former Minister C.T. Ravi, Bajrang Dal leader Suryanarayana and others have been in the city participating in the Datta Mala Abhiyana, which began on December 16. Speaking to presspersons on the occasion, Mr. Ravi said the government should resolve the issue based on records available.

The Supreme Court, in its order on September 3, directed the Karnataka government to decide the title claims over the shrine and ordered that status quo granted by the court in December 2008 would continue until the government resolves the matter. So far, the State Cabinet had not taken a call on this issue.

Syed Ghouse Mohiyuddin Shakhadri, the Sajjada Nasheen, told The Hindu that he had filed a contempt petition before the Supreme Court and the matter might come up for hearing soon.

“As per the court’s order the status quo granted in 2008 will continue. The government should not have allowed Datta Jayanti celebrations or any event related to it in the shrine,” he said.

Mr. Shakhadri also alleged that allowing Datta celebrations was against the court order. When his attention was drawn to the organisers’ argument that the celebrations would not attract violation as it has been held outside the shrine, he said, “That has been their argument for a long time. They are holding celebrations and other religious programmes close to the graveyard. The government does not stop them from holding it. But, if we want to bury our elders in the khabarsthan, we are not allowed,” he maintained.

Source: The Hindu