Srirangapatna mosque faces threat as Hindutva groups attempt to turn Mandya into Karnataka’s Ayodhya

News Network
May 13, 2022

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Mysuru, May 13: At a time when the Gyanvapi mosque row in Varanasi triggered a debate about whether mosques were built over temples all over the country, the Jamia mosque in Srirangapatna town in Karnataka's Mandya district has yet again come into the eye of the storm.

The saffronite hate brigade has been trying to convert Srirangapatna into Karnataka's Ayodhya. The ruling BJP has been making attempts to make inroads in the prosperous district, which greatly impacts state politics.

Sources said that with Hindutva outfits taking up the issue, the party is aiming to reap rich electoral success in the region which is presently considered as the bastion of JD(S). Srirangapatna in Mandya district is considered to be a stronghold of the dominant Vokkaliga community.

The management of the mosque has made repeated appeals to the district authorities to protect the mosque from being harmed by communal hate mongers.

Rishi Kumar Swami of Kali mutt claimed on Thursday that the Jamia mosque in Srirangapatna was built on the site of a Hanuman temple, which was razed to make way for the mosque. 

"There are emblems of the erstwhile Hoysala kingdom inside the mosque," he claimed.

A campaign on this would be launched during the upcoming Hanuman Jayanti, Swami said.

He also claimed that the temple was built before the rule of the Mysuru kings.

"During the rule of Tipu Sultan, the Hanuman temple was converted into a mosque. There is clinching evidence to prove that the mosque was a Hindu temple once," Swami claimed.

He further claimed that the temple was destroyed in 1784.

Swam was arrested in January this year on charges of giving a call to demolish the mosque. He had demanded that the mosque be closed until it is decided whether it was a temple before. He is out on bail now.

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News Network
June 15,2022

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Washington: The new I2U2 grouping of India, Israel, UAE and the US will hold its first virtual summit next month as part of the Biden administration's efforts to re-energise and revitalise American alliances across the world, according to the White House.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, US President Joe Biden, Israeli Prime Minister Neftali Bennett and UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan would attend the first-of-its-kind virtual summit of the I2U2 grouping next month for discussions of the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation, it said on Tuesday.

The virtual summit of the four countries would take place during Biden's trip to the Middle East region from July 13 to 16, a senior administration official told reporters during a conference call.

President Biden looks forward to this unique engagement with Prime Minister Bennett, Prime Minister Modi and President Mohammed bin Zayed, the official said.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price, during his daily news conference on Tuesday, told reporters that each of these countries are technological hubs.

"India is a massive consumer market. It is a massive producer of high-tech and highly sought-after goods as well. So, there are a number of areas where these countries can work together, whether its technology, trade, climate, COVID-19, and potentially even security as well," he said.

"Part of our approach from the start is not only to revitalise and re-energise our system of alliances and partnerships around the world, but also to stitch together partnerships that did not exist previously or were not utilised to their full extent," Mr Price said.

"Biotechnology is also prominent. Deepening trade and economic ties between these countries is in our interest when it comes to the relationship between Israel and the UAE. That is something we have sought to deepen. These two countries have deepened their relationship in recent years, including in the economic realm," he said.

Joe Biden will visit the Middle East region from July 13 to July 16 with stops in Israel, the West Bank and Saudi Arabia, and engagements with nearly a dozen counterparts from across the region and beyond.

"The first stop is Israel. This will be President Biden's first visit to the country as President, and it comes nearly 50 years after his first visit to Israel as a young senator," said the official.

During the trip, Joe Biden will engage with nearly a dozen of his counterparts in three stops - Israel, the West Bank, and Saudi Arabia.

It is part of this clear sequence of global engagements at an important moment, the official said.

"It demonstrates, we believe, the return of American leadership to bring countries together to address common threats and challenges, something the US can uniquely do.

"And with new frameworks that aim to harness unique American capabilities to enable partners to work more closely together, which is essential to a more secure, prosperous and stable Middle East region over the long term," the official said.

Biden's visit will also focus on Israel's increasing integration into the region, both through the Abraham Accords with the UAE, Morocco and Bahrain; through deepening ties between Israel, Jordan and Egypt; and also entirely new groupings of partners, including Israel, India, the UAE, and the United States - what they call I2U2, said the official.

"We consider these initiatives central to our strategy of empowering partners and encouraging them to work more closely together, which will lead to a more stable region and also to Israel's security and prosperity over the longer term."

"Importantly, some of these new partnerships reach beyond the Middle East, and the President will hold a virtual summit with the I2U2 heads of state for discussions of the food security crisis and other areas of cooperation across hemispheres where the UAE and Israel serve as important innovation hubs," the official added.

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News Network
June 26,2022

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Mumbai, June 26: Shiv Sena rebel leader Eknath Shinde met BJP's Devendra Fadnavis in Gujarat last night to discuss possible government formation in Maharashtra, sources have said. Team Thackeray, meanwhile, said it will "not forget the betrayal" done by the rebels.
    
Latest development

>> This morning, Sena's spokesperson Sanjay Raut took a swipe at the rebels, camping in BJP-ruled Assam. "How long will you hide in Guwahati," he asked in his tweet which included image of Deputy Speaker Narhari Zirwal, who has served notices to 16 rebel MLAs on the Sena disqualification plea.

>> Eknath Shinde flew to Vadodara on a special flight last night from Assam's Guwahati where he is camping with nearly 40 rebel MLAs. Home Minister Amit Shah was also in Vadodara last night, people with direct knowledge of the matter said.

>> After talks with Mr Fadnavis, Mr Shinde returned to the main city in BJP-ruled Assam. Mr Shinde and the rebels want to ally with their former partner, BJP, which they claim is a "natural ally" of the Sena.

>> "We are traditionally the rivals of NCP and Congress, they are our primary challengers in constituencies. We requested CM Uddhav Thackeray that natural alliance should be done," said rebel MLA Chimanrao Patil in a video tweeted by Eknath Shinde.

>> The rebels have said that they are still with the Shiv Sena and claim that they have a two-thirds majority. Rebel MLA Deepak Kesarkar further demanded recognition of their group 'Shiv Sena Balasaheb' and warned of going to court if it is not done and denied the role of the BJP behind their revolt.

>> Despite being reduced to a minority, Team Thackeray has maintained that it will win in the event of a trust vote. "You already know what was discussed in the meeting, the important thing is that we will not forget the betrayal done by rebel Shiv Sena MLAs. We (Shiv Sena) will win for sure," Aaditya Thackeray after a party meeting in Mumbai.

>> The Shiv Sena passed six resolutions at the National Executive meeting chaired by Uddhav Thackeray on Saturday. At the meeting at Sena Bhavan, Mr Thackeray was authorised to take action against the rebels. His side has also challenged a move by the rebels to call themselves "Shiv Sena Balasaheb Thackeray" in a letter to the Election Commission.

>> The ongoing battle for the control of the Shiv Sena between Uddhav Thackeray and Eknath Shinde played out on the streets of Maharashtra on Saturday with the cadres loyal to the Thackerays staging protests against the rebels by defacing their banners, throwing stones, and vandalising the office of an MLA in various parts of the state.

>> The Mumbai police has deployed its personnel at the city-based offices of various political parties and leaders, including ministers, MLAs and MPs, and their residences as a security measure, an official said on Saturday.

>> The prohibitory orders issued by the Mumbai police in the first week of June will continue to remain in place till July 10. It bans the assembly of five or more persons at one place.

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News Network
June 25,2022

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Mumbai, June 25: Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, reduced to a minority within the Shiv Sena, the party founded by his father Balasaheb Thackeray, has called a national executive meeting today amid rebellion by his minister Eknath Shinde.

Latest updates

>> The meeting will be held in Shiv Sena Bhavan at 1 pm and Mr Thackeray, who has contracted Covid, will join virtually. On Friday, Mr Thackeray convened a meeting of the district chiefs in which he said that the rebel MLAs wanted to "break the party".

>> "The Sena is not finished" and that people siding with the BJP must be questioned, Mr Thackeray said. "Those who want to leave are free to go openly.... I will create a new Shiv Sena," he added.

>> In a virtual address to party corporators, Mr Thackeray also accused the BJP of trying to finish off the Sena. "Shiv Sena is an ideology... BJP wants to finish it off because they don't want to share the Hindu vote bank with anyone," he said, adding that late Bal Thackeray had initiated the alliance with the BJP only to avoid a split in Hindutva votes.

>> Priyanka Chaturvedi, part of Team Uddhav, hit back at Mr Shinde's claim that the party was diverging from its ideology of Hindutva. "Which Hindutva teaches you to stab your party, which is like a family, in the back?" she said, asserting that ideology is being used as an excuse for the "BJP-backed" rebellion.

>> Sixteen MLAs who have joined rebel leader Eknath Shinde are likely to be served notices by the Deputy Speaker today. The names of these rebel MLAs have already been sent to the Maharashtra Assembly deputy speaker for initiating action of disqualification against them.

>> "We have given notice against 16 MLAs that they should be sacked. Now they will have to answer why action should not be taken against them. Despite issuing a letter to them, none of them attended party meeting on Wednesday in Mumbai," Sena MP Arvind Sawant said.

>> Despite being reduced to a minority, Team Uddhav is confident that it has the powers to issue whip against the MLAs. The party also said that the claims by the Eknath Shinde camp that is "the real Shiv Sena" has no merit. "The Shiv Sena is a registered regional party and Uddhav Thackeray is our chief. We have a Consitution through which party president is selected," Advocate Dharam Mishra from Shiv Sena legal cell said.

>> Mr Shinde, at the centre of rebellion against Mr Thackeray, has said that he has the support of more than 50 MLAs. "Nearly 40 of them are from the Shiv Sena," he told the press in an interview.

>> Mr Shinde, who is camping with the rebels in BJP-ruled Assam, has accused the Sena leadership of being inaccessible to party leaders. On Friday, he put out a video by rebel leader Yamini Jadhav in which she accused the party leadership of not caring for her despite she "suffering from cancer" since October last year. He will chair a meeting with the MLAs today to decide the next strategy.

>> The rebels are camping at a five-star hotel on the outskirts of Assam's main city, Guwahati. A young MP, known to be close to Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, is the pointsman, sources said, adding at least three Assam BJP ministers are closely overseeing logistical matters at the Guwahati hotel.

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