A row over places of worship between Hindus and Christians was witnessed at Kulalu Kuntrakala in Kolnadu, Vittal, on Friday.
News of the apparent demolition of a shrine with the Grotto of Our Lady of Velankanni and construction of a Swamy Koragajjana Katte for a demigod on the land resulted in a large number of people of both religions gathering on the site.
Based on a complaint by David D’Souza and Charles Veigas, a case was registered at the Vittal Police Station. Christians also handed over photographs of the Grotto to prove their ownership of the land.
Vijayadka Parish priest Michael Mascarenhas said, “The demolition has hurt the sentiments of Christians. It is a Kumki land and the owner had let us construct a Grotto.”
Vittal Bajran Dal convener Akshay Rajaput Kalladka asserted that the existence of a Grotto near the Swamy Koragajjana Katte was a rumour and they would not surrender the land.
SP Dr Ravikanthe Gowda said that, if there was any issue, residents could file complaints. But it is not right on the part of citizens to take the law into their hands, he reminded.
The police will take necessary legal action, he assured.
On the other hand, Bantwal Tahsildar Purandara Hegde clarified that the disputed land belongs to the government.
The SP, Bantwal ASP Rishikesh Sonavane, Bantwal Inspector T D Nagaraj and others rushed to the spot and dispersed the crowd before the situation went out of control.