Row over RSS workers forcing Ram Bhajan at relief camp

Inmates at the relief camp in Sankeshwar in Hukkeri taluk. (DH Photo)

Members of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) and its women wing have infiltrated relief centres established by the Belagavi district administration.

The Sangh activists were found imposing "Ram Bhajan" on the inmates at the relief centres. Few activists including women workers who have taken over all the relief camps are allegedly taking advantage of the helpless situation of the flood victims.

Irrespective of the communities, the rains have affected the people of Sankeshwar town where the Hiranyakeshi river is in spate.

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Shelters have been set up at Shankarling Karyalaya and Ram Talkies in the town. Hundreds of people have found temporary shelter at these centres as their houses have either been inundated or have collapsed following the rain fury.

The Department of Public Instruction in its latest order has asked officials not to mention caste of the inmates to ensure that secular credentials of the state government are maintained.

However, this commitment is not visible at relief centres. There are many inmates belonging to the Muslim faith at Shankarling Karyalaya who are feeling isolated.

Shravani Joshi, one of the inmate said, many of them had lost their houses, some of them were suffering from heart-related ailments following which they have volunteered to recite Ram Bhajans to console them and for peace of mind in their dire straits.

As many as 38 villages are under the grip of floods in Hukkeri taluk.

Members of Rashtriya Sevik Sangh were found active in the Sai Bhavan relief camp in Belagavi city where Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa had visited recently. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman too visited the centre on Saturday. She is also scheduled to visit the centre in Sankeshwar town.

Reshma Talikoti, Tahasildar, Hukkeri said "the issue has come to my notice. Will bring the issue to notice of higher up and take action accordingly. He also added that taking advantage of the situation was unjust."

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