Pramod Muthalik, head of the controversial right wing organisation Sri Ram Sene has made a communally charged statement in Gadag. While addressing a crowd on October 17, Muthalik said that “Jama masjid in Gadag was built on Venkateshwara temple.” Drawing parallels with the demolition of Babri masjid in Ayodhya and construction of Ram temple, he claimed he has the evidence for existence of the erstwhile temple and “it would be rebuilt in place of the mosque.”
“We fought for 72 years for Ram mandir. After all these years, Ram mandir is being built in place of Babri masjid. Similarly, in Gadag, I am challenging that the current Jama Masjid was constructed on Rameshwar temple. During Tipu Sultan’s rule, Gadag’s Venkateshwara temple was one among the temples destroyed and Jama masjid built over it. We will fight with proper evidence,” Muthalik said.
Muthalik made the statement while addressing the gathering against alleged forced religious conversion.
“We are forming teams to stop religious conversion in the state. People who are indulging in such illegal activity must be kicked out. Even the father of Jesus can’t destroy Hindu religion.”
Speaking with News9, Pramod Muthalik said that we will fight the temple case legally.
“We are collecting evidence from various places and once we have all of it we will announce our next step. We have two documents which say there was a temple. We are collecting more supporting evidence, once we have it all then we will approach the court,” Muthalik said.
When asked about what evidence he had to support his claim, Muthalik refused and said “those details can’t be revealed at this stage.”
Clerics working at Gadag’s Jama masjid refused to react on the issue and said that they are still discussing the matter with their community leaders.
Speaking on the issue, Gadag Superintendent of Police Yatish N said they have not received any complaint against Pramod Muthalik on the issue and if they receive any complaint they will investigate the matter.
Such communal statements from Muthalik are not new, he and his organisation members were accused in the 2008 Mangaluru pub attack, where men and women were thrashed claiming they are following western culture. Sene members were acquitted due to lack of evidence.