‘Arrest us all, open challenge…’: Union Min Shobha Karandlaje slams Cong over shopkeeper assault case | Bengaluru - Hindustan Times
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‘Arrest us all, open challenge…’: Union Min Shobha Karandlaje slams Cong over shopkeeper assault case

Mar 20, 2024 12:46 PM IST

Accusing the Congress government in the state of failing to uphold law and order, she demanded Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara's resignation.

Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje on Tuesday inserted herself into the raging controversy over an altercation between a shopkeeper in Bengaluru and a group of men over playing a Hindu devotional bhajan during azaan time. Accusing the ruling Congress government in the state of failing to uphold law and order in the state, she demanded Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara's resignation.

Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje was detained by police during protests in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (Arijit Sen/HT Photo)
Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje was detained by police during protests in Bengaluru on Tuesday. (Arijit Sen/HT Photo)

READ | Tejasvi Surya detained during protest over ‘bhajan’ vs ‘azaan’ altercation

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The Union Minister took to social media and wrote, "Arrest us all..!! It's an open challenge. Under the Congress govt in Karnataka, there's an unspoken fatwa against playing Hanuman Chalisa. Shockingly, Shopkeeper Mukesh, who was attacked, himself sits behind bars. It's time to stand with him, united against this blatant injustice!”

Karandlaje on Tuesday joined protests along with Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya in Bengaluru's Siddanna Layout, where people were gathered in large numbers to condemn the assault on the shopkeeper, Mukesh. Both leaders were later detained by police.

Karandlaje spoke to reporters on the matter, saying, “The police said that we could only leave after the Namaz was complete. I want to ask Siddaramaiah who's government is running here. Have Hindus not voted for you? Hindus' insults are going on here constantly.”

READ | Union Minister retracts ‘Tamilians' claim on Bengaluru blast case suspect, says ‘remarks directed at…’

“Boys come and beat up a boy in a shop where he was listening to Hanuman Chalisa. I just saw a video where they are roaming around with open swords in RT Nagar. There is no action. This government is protecting minorities and it is anti-Hindu. The law and order situation is poor and we demand Karnataka Home Minister G Parameshwara's resignation. We will keep fighting,” She added.

Meanwhile, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya also strongly condemned the incident, and was heard saying - “Every corner of Nagarathpete in Bengaluru should hear Hanuman Chalisa tomorrow, and a rally should start from Mukesh's shop” - in a a video shared on micro-blogging site ‘X’.

‘Drama of sitting on streets’: Congress reacts to protest by BJP

Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao on Tuesday hit out at the BJP over their protest, alleging that the saffron party wants to “secure their vote bank” by “creating unrest in society”.

READ | Shopkeeper thrashed for playing bhajan during azaan, 3 held in Karnataka: Cops

"Finally, BJP MPs Shobha Karandlaje and Tejaswi Surya are protesting on the streets. But what is the purpose of this protest? Our government will take strict action against those who disturb the peace of society. Where did this anger and protest go when the state was wronged by the Centre? Why did they not get this outrage when our people were reeling from drought and cried for help from the Centre?" The Health Minister wrote on social media.

“Why didn't these MPs get outraged when the distribution of taxes to our state was unfair? Why didn't his blood boil when the river was treated unfairly? Shame on you. When you were in power, Kannadigas were treated unfairly and now that there are elections, your drama of sitting on the streets and protesting is understood by sensible Kannadigas,” He added.

(With ANI inputs)

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