Just days after a temple-like structure was found during a renovation work that was being carried out in 800-year-old Juma Masjid in Mangaluru’s Malali, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal on Wednesday, 25 May, performed ‘Tambula Prashne’ ceremony to stake claim over the mosque.
The ritual was performed a kilometre away from the mosque as section 144 continues to be imposed 500 meters around the Juma Masjid.
On the invitation of the members of VHP and Bajrang Dal, three prominent priests and astrologers led by Gopala Krishna Panikar carried out the divination ceremony.
Speaking at the event, Gopala Krishna Pannikar said, “There is gurusanidhya in this place. As per the ritual, it was indicated that there was an existing Shiva shrine in this place. But, due to result of a lawsuit of the past, the divine presence has been disturbed and people residing here have moved away. However, the divinity from this place cannot be completely erased. We need to exactly ascertain the place where the shrine was.
Meanwhile, Congress MLA UT Khader expressed concerns over the developments around the masjid and called for peace. Earlier, the MLA, who had met with the Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, said that the Muslim members from the jamat wished to solve the issue as per law.
“I do not want to indulge in politics. I have seen this structure from the time I was born. Even our forefathers have said that it was a mosque. Now, several groups are claiming it to be a temple. Let them approach the court and verify all the records. We are certain there is no issue. We will follow the law of the land and maintain peace," the MLA told The Quint.
VHP and Bajrang Dal to Perform more Rituals to Stake Claim to Juma Masjid
On 25 May, VHP and Bajrang Dal leaders who carried out the ritual claimed that the existing Juma Masjid could have been either a Shaiva or Vaishnava shrine in the past. The claimed the structure was later destroyed.
The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal will also be organising another ceremony called the ‘Ashtamangala Prashne,’ another tantric practice to confirm the existence of a temple in the area.
Speaking to The Quint, Raghu Sakaleshpura of Bajrang Dal said, “We are not opposing the law. We trust the judiciary, as it rightly determined the existence of Rama Mandira in Ayodhya. Likewise, I am certain that the law will also recognise that there was a temple here. The Ashtamangala Pooje will only help us further to identify the demolished temple and trace out its history.”
BJP leaders and Mangaluru North MLA Dr Bharath Shetty were also part of rituals organised by the VHP and Bajrang Dal. Speaking to the reporters there, the local BJP leaders claimed that the ritual was held as residents in and around the masjid demanded it and not because it was insisted by the party.
“After the ritual, we will be able to tell which family was taking care of the premises and which matha handled the temple. This is our Hindu faith, and we are seeking answers through this method. I am certain that we will be proven right in the court of law.”Sharan Pumpwell, VHP
Opposition Questions VHP & Bajrang Dal Organised Rituals in Malali
Reacting to the on-going tussle over determining the existence of a temple in Malali, former chief minister and JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy criticised the right-wing organisations in the country. Speaking to reporters in Mysore, he said, “It has nothing to do with Ashtamangala Prashne. All decisions are actually taken at Keshava Krupa (RSS State Headquarters).”
Taking a jibe at VHP members in Mandya district, he added, “There is also a new issue now about Jamia Masjid in Srirangapattana. But, why are we in a hurry? Has God himself told anybody that this was the exact place where he was residing? See these developments, I am certain that the peace and harmony of the country is going to be affected,” he added.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President DK Shivakumar too has hit out at the right-wing groups. “They are killing the state. I do not care what they do at their homes. But they are not just killing themselves but are killing the state. They need to understand the repercussions of their actions on the society. The government and law will decide what needs to be done. A case should be lodged against anybody else interfering and creating confusion,” he said.
Earlier, the VHP and Bajrang Dal had approached the court to bring a stay order on the renovation work that was being carried out in Juma Masjid. Now, the right-wing groups have also demanded that the court initiate an excavation process by Archaeological Survey of India to prove the existence of a temple in Juma Masjid premises.