Amid a protest against the demolition of unauthorised temples in Mysore, Karnataka, a Muslim journalist was beaten and physically assaulted on Friday, 17 September.
Speaking to The Quint, Mohammed Safdar Khaiser, a journalist for national newspaper Rashtriya Sahara, stated, “This is a matter of hatred."
He demanded to know why he was roughed up amid the demonstration, and added that he believes the protestors assaulted him because he was speaking in Hindi.
According to Khaiser, the crowd asked for an identity card, and did not answer when he asked them why he was being targeted.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) administration in Karnataka has been facing the ire of Hindu groups such as the Hindu Jagaran Vedike over the demolition of Mahadevamma temple at Hucchagani.
The matter has provoked a divided response from BJP representatives, with some criticising the administration and supporting the protests while others, namely BJP MLA SA Ramdas asserting that court orders need to be implemented, The Hindu reported.
Meanwhile, Mysore district in-charge Minister ST Somashekar spoke to the media and said that the protests were 'justified'. He went on to deny the claim that the tension in the city was an embarrassment for the BJP.
In Mysore, around 100 temples have been identified as unauthorised, but Somashekar told the media that the court-ordered demolition drive has been stopped for now.
(With inputs from The Hindu.)