Unrest prevailed in parts of the city as police officials disrupted the Mahashivarathri celebrations at Kavoor Mahalingeshwara Temple as well as in Pandeshwar and Shaktinagar on Monday night.
Trouble began when Kavoor police station sub-inspector K R Nayak ordered the temple committee organisers to wind up the bhajan sessions and a Yakshagana performance.
Mangaluru North MLA Dr Bharath Shetty had to intervene and prevent the police from stopping the bhajan sessions and Yakshagana at the temple. “The Bhajan singers, particularly the women, were terrified when they saw the police walk in, signalling the committee members to stop the songs,” Shetty told reporters on Tuesday.
The sub-inspector, who had received prasada just a few hours before, returned to threaten the devotees of filing cases if they did not stop the bhajan sessions and Yakshagana.
Temple chief priest Srinivas Bhat said that this was the first time in 55 years that the bhajan sessions in the temple were disrupted three times by cops.
Temple management committee president Ramanna Shetty quoted the sub-inspector, saying that he had orders from the IGP (Western Range) to stop the bhajans and the Yakshagana performance.
Corporators Rajesh K, Madhukiran and Deepak Poojary agreed that all events organised in the evening ended abruptly thanks to the cops.
What angered the MLA, however, was that, in spite of his intervention, ACP (Panambur) Narayan Gowda and ACP (Central) Bhaskar revisited the temple to stop devotees from singing the bhajans.
Video clippings of the police officials rebuking the temple committee members arrogantly went viral on Tuesday, evoking strong response from various organisations, including the VHP.
IGP (Western Range) Arun Chakravarthy, when contacted, admitted to having directed Kavoor SI to approach the temple committee and ensure that loudspeakers were not used in full volume.
“As I stay at Maryhill, I get complaints from residents against the loud noise. In the past too, I have directed the SI to ensure that the residents who had complained were not troubled by the loud noise. This time, however, going by the video clippings, I believe he has not handled the situation well enough,” the IGP admitted.
MP Nalin Kumar Kateel, meanwhile, demanded in a press release that disciplinary action be taken against the police officials with anti-Hindu attitude.