VHP workers protests against civic body for cutting Ganesh festival days
Bengaluru: Members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishath (VHP) on Thursday stormed into the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) headquarters near Corporation circle, to protest city administration’s decision to reduce public celebration of Ganesh puja to three days. VHP workers also carried a large Ganesh statue with them that they placed in front of the city administration headquarters in protest.
The Bengaluru civic agency on Wednesday reduced Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations in the city in public places from five to three days starting September 10. The instruction came after Gupta had a meeting with senior district-level officers and Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant.
Pant said also added that one Ganesh idol at a public place in each ward would be permitted, for which the organizers will have to get the nod from the BBMP and then inform the deputy commissioner of police of the area. The government has restricted the Ganesh idol height to four feet at public places and two feet at residences respectively.
“The government will not decide how we will practice our religion and they will not decide how we will keep out Ganesh idols. We will continue to do what has been practiced so far. I don’t follow the government’s order, I will only follow what my parents and gurus have taught me,” said Shashi Kant, one of the VHP workers who stormed into the BBMP headquarters.
When questioned about the prevailing pandemic, he claimed that they will follow all Covid protocols. “Whenever we conduct our puja, we do it the right manner. Even if there is a crowd, we control it. We are opposed to any restrictions,” he said. The protestors however, didn’t seem follow any social distancing during the protest and most of them were seen without a mask.
Rishikesh another protestor said that the government has all the ‘rights to put restrictions to prevent Covid but not on Hindu festivals.’ He argued that large crowds were seen during the festivities of other religions. “Large crowds were seen during Moharram in Shivajinagar. Why can’t we celebrate,” he asked.
BBMP commissioner however said that BBMP had last year permitted the Ganesh festival for three days, which will continue this year as well. He said the decision to have it for only three days was taken after inputs from the police that there were possibilities of large gatherings participating in the public celebrations.
MN Anucheth, deputy commissioner of police (central) said that no case has been registered against the activist for storming into the BBMP headquarters and the violation of Covid-19 protocols since no complaint was lodged by the BBMP.