CPM rally against 'Made Snana' turns violent

CPM rally against 'Made Snana' turns violent

The police on Thursday resorted to lathi charge to disperse the Communist Party of Marxist (CPM) workers when they tried to jump the barricades and forcibly enter the Sri Krishna Mutt at Udupi during their protest against  “Made Snana” ritual and discrimination in serving food at the Mutt (pankthi bheda).

Two CPM activists and a few policemen were seriously injured in the melee. Irate activists attacked policemen and damaged the buses in which they were taken to police station after their arrest.

As part of its state-level rally, which started at Kukke Subrahmanya on December 21, around 2,000 CPM workers from different parts of the State gathered at the entrance of the temple, near Sanskrit College. They shouted slogans against holding of the rituals and tried to a lay a siege to the Mutt.

However, the police had put up barricades to prevent the protesters from entering the temple premises. Stating that police have no right to prevent them from entering the temple, CPM State Secretary G V Srirama Reddy urged police personnel to remove the barricades. “We are not against the Mutt or Lord Krishna. We are only opposing the orthodox rituals,” he said.

As the police remained firm, the protesters rushed ahead and tried to jump the barricades. Police announced that the activists would be arrested, if they went ahead with their move. As the protesters were unrelenting and the situation was going out of their control, the police  resorted to lathi charge to prevent the activists from forcibly entering the temple. The police arrested the activists and took them to the police station in buses.

Angry over the arrest, the activists smashed the glass panes of the buses and tried to attack the police personnel. The stretch of the road from the Mutt to the police station was strewn with glass pieces and broken lathis. Blood stains were seen on the road at many places.

Superintendent of Police

Dr Boralingaiah M B told Deccan Herald that a case will be booked against the protesters for attacking policemen on duty. “We are drafting charges against them. Executive Magistrate Jagannath Rao ordered for the lathi charge as he found the situation was going out of control,” he added.

Udupi in-charge Tahsildar Jagannath Rao, who was present at the spot, said the situation warranted lathi charge. If police had not used force, a stampede would have occurred, leading to casualties, he added. To create awareness among the masses over the practice of rituals of ‘Made Snana’ and ‘Pankthi Bheda,’ the CPM started an rally at Kukke Subrahmanya on December 21. On December 24, rallies were held in Mangalore and Byndoor and the three rallies culminated into a public gathering near the Mutt here on Thursday.

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