Police deny permission for Veerashaiva-Lingayat debate

The Hubballi-Dharwad Police Commissionerate has denied permission for the debate between MLC Basavaraj Horatti and Sri Dingaleshwar Swamiji of Balehosur, on Veerashaiva-Lingayat issue, which was proposed to be held at Moorusaviramutt in the City on Saturday (December 30).

"After we received application from Rajanna Koravi and Prakash Bendigeri, we collected information from the Moorusaviramutt that permission from the Mutt administration was not obtained. In the background of bundobust to be made for new year celebrations and Mahadayi agitation, police security cannot be arranged for the debate. As people with difference of opinion would gather there, there is no guarantee that peace would not be disturbed," Police Commissioner M N Nagaraj said.

Instruction has been given not to hold the proposed debate, while members of both groups should not gather at the Mutt. If needed, Section 144 would also be clamped there, he added.

Mutt's view

Meanwhile, Moorusaviramutt High Power Committee opined that it was unfortunate that the Mutt was chosen to hold a debate on a controversial issue.

"Before deciding the place to hold the debate, neither Mr Horatti nor Sri Dingaleshwar Swamiji obtained prior permission from Sri Gurusiddha Rajayogindra Swamiji of Moorusaviramutt.

The Mutt cannot make arrangements for this debate, and therefore, both the parties should maintain status quo," committee convener Mohan Limbikai and member Shankaranna Munavalli said in a press release.

Why debate?

Mr Horatti, who is active in Lingayat independent religion movement, had challenged Sri Dingaleshwar Swamiji to come for a debate to prove that Veerashaiva and Lingayat are same. He had fixed the date and venue and had disclosed the names of five members who would accompany him.

Accepting the challenge, Sri Dingaleshwar Swamiji had revealed that Dr Chandrashekhar Shivacharya Swamiji of Kashi Peetha, Dr Channasiddharam Panditaradhya Shivacharya Swamiji of Shrishaila Peetha, Sri Annadanishwar Swamiji of Mundaragi, advocate Gangadhar Gurumath and professor Nandish Hanche would be in his team during the debate.

Next move

"We had made reparations for the debate and had collected documents. We do not know why Moorusaviramutt took this stand, though we had been conducting programmes related to Basavanna there, while Lingayat Rally and Rashtriya Basava Sene offices were also opened there," Mr Horatti said.

He told media persons on Friday evening that a decision about the next move would be taken after holding meeting with Lingayat leaders, and an announcement would be made on Saturday.

"Regarding the proposed debate, social media messages were being spread inviting hundreds of people. With this, police suspected gathering of more people there, and possibility of law and order problem. Police have refused to give permission, we cannot violate the law, and therefore, the debate scheduled at Moorusaviramutt on Saturday is cancelled," he added.

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