VHP chief booked for calling a boycott of Muslim vendors in Mangaluru | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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VHP chief booked for calling a boycott of Muslim vendors in Mangaluru

By, Bengaluru
Oct 20, 2023 08:38 AM IST

The Mangaluru south police station sleuths booked Pumpwell and other VHP activists for urging Hindu community members to not buy items from shops run by Muslims vendors

Mangaluru city police on Thursday registered an FIR against Sharan Pumpwell, the Provincial Joint Secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), for boycotting Muslim vendors and putting saffron flags at shops runs by Hindu vendors at the Mangaladevi temple in Mangaluru, officials familiar with the matter said.

On October 16, the VHP leaders had placed saffron flags on the stalls of Hindu vendors at car street in Mangaladevi. (HT Archives)
On October 16, the VHP leaders had placed saffron flags on the stalls of Hindu vendors at car street in Mangaladevi. (HT Archives)

The Mangaluru south police station sleuths booked Pumpwell and other VHP activists for urging Hindu community members to not buy items from shops run by Muslims vendors and make purchases from shops bearing saffron flags in Mangaladevi temple premises.

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According to officials, the Mangaladevi temple committee, which is organising the Dasara festival fairs from October 15 to October 24, had allotted shops to only Hindu community vendors through auction, and denied the same to Muslim traders. Following this, the traders from Muslim community, Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and like-minded organisations forum had opposed the move of the temple body and staged protest against this. Later, the temple committee agreed to allot shops to a few Muslim vendors.

On October 16, the VHP leaders had placed saffron flags on the stalls of Hindu vendors at car street in Mangaladevi.

On October 17, a delegation comprising representatives from Jatra traders, street vendors, DYFI, and like-minded organisations met state minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dinesh Gundu Rao. During the meeting, DYFI leaders expressed their dismay over the alleged ill-treatment to the minister and demanded the arrest of Sharan Pumpwell. In response to this, Gundu Rao discusses the matter with Mangaluru police commissioner, Anupam Agarwal, and recommended legal action. Subsequently, an FIR was registered against Pumpwell and other.

The controversy originated with Hindu organisations demanding restrictions on Muslim traders during the Navratri celebrations at the Mangaladevi temple. However, the district administration later intervened and permitted non-Hindu traders to operate their stalls as well. Following this decision, VHP workers placed saffron flags in front of all Hindu traders’ shops in Mangaladevi.

“A video clip went viral in which Sharan called upon Hindus to do business with Hindu traders. We have filed a case against him,” Mangaluru south police sub-inspector Manohar Prasad told HT. He said the case was registered under IPC section 153A (inciting communal discord and disturbing public peace) and the investigation is underway.

Meanwhile, defending his statement, Pumpwell said, “If Muslims doesn’t believe in idol worship why should they be allowed to carry out business near temples?”

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