The Sri Ram Sene, a Karnataka-based militant Hindu outfit, got embroiled in another controversy after a TV news channel showed its leaders demanding Rs 60 lakh to indulge in violence and vandalism in the southern state.
The outfit had grabbed national media headlines in January 2009 when its goons attacked women in a Mangalore pub. On Thursday, Sene chief Pramod Muthalik and leaders Prasad Attava and V.K. Bhavani were shown planning attacks in Bangalore or Mangalore in a sting operation conducted by Tehelka and Headlines Today.
They were shown demanding the money from a reporter posing as an organiser of a painting exhibition on Hindu-Muslim peace seeking publicity.
The Sene leaders suggested that the exhibition be held in a Muslim-dominated area and a respected Muslim leader be invited as chief guest for the attack to make “maximum impact”.
Bhavai told HT that he and his leaders were quoted out of context in what he described as a conspiracy. “If any money has exchanged hands, let them (TV channel) give details,” he said.
Muthalik refused to speak to mediapersons after appearing live on the channel, where he claimed that “distorted” facts were presented to defame his organisation.