Just four days after Sri Ram Sene members were detained for playing Hindu devotional songs using loudspeakers to demand a ban on azan, Pramod Muthalik, the founder and chief of the right-wing organisation has called for "bulldozing" or demolition of "illegally constructed churches" in the state.
Addressing a gathering on 13 May 2022 Pramod Muthalik claimed that thousands of Hindus were being converted into Christianity by force. "Every day, thousands of Hindus are being converted into Christianity. The conversion is being done through deceit and force. The only way to deal this issue is by bringing a stringent law against conversion and by also demolishing illegal churches by bulldozing them," said Pramod Muthalik in Mysore.
The right-wing activist also asserted that he had complied a list of illegal churches across the state and that he would be requesting the government to demolish them.
"Our district presidents have complied a list of illegally constructed churches over the years. There are over 500 churches that have been identified across the state. Once the government introduces the new law, we will meet with the authorities and give them our list, requesting them to demolish the churches."Pramod Muthalik, Sri Ram Sene
Karnataka Government Had Earlier Tracked Churches
A few months before the decision to introduce anti-conversion bill as an ordinance, the government of Karnataka under Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai had started a massive intelligence gathering exercise on churches in the state, The Quint had reported.
The government also done three 'surveys' of churches. One of the 'surveys' was ordered on 16 October 2021 by the department of minorities and BC welfare. Deputy commissioners of all districts in the state were asked to conduct a survey of "authorised and unauthorised" churches.
The threat to 'bulldoze' 'illegally constructed' churches comes days after Sri Ram Sene, a fringe Hindu organisation gave an ultimatum to the Karnataka government to ban loudspeakers from mosques across the state. On 9 May 2022 the members of Sri Ram Sene had also held Suprabhatam (Hindu morning chant) sessions early in the morning in Mysuru, warning the Muslim community of consequences if they continue to use loudspeakers for Azan.
After the government issued a notice banning loudspeakers from 10:00 pm to 6:00 am, Muthalik and his workers threatened to file a contempt case against all the deputy commissioners, who fail to implement the Supreme Court’s order on noise pollution.