Residents and devotees of Kavoor Mahalingeshwara Temple were upset over the police action in disrupting the Bhajan and Yakshagana programs on the night of Shivaratri ostensibly on a complaint from Inspector-General of Police (Western Range) J. Arun Chakravarthy.
As Bhajan and Yakshagana programs were going on at the temple on Monday night, Police Inspector of Kavoor and his personnel descended on the spot and allegedly switched off loudspeakers thereby halting the ongoing performances. “We had arranged a Yakshagana performance that would have ended by 1 a.m. on Tuesday,” Temple Managing Committee president Ramanna Shetty told The Hindu. “The way the police behaved at the spot was nothing less than the behavior of ordinary culprits; instead of resorting to direct action, they could have advised us to modify the program,” he said. Assistant Commissioner of Police (North) Srinivas Gowda, who visited the spot following the commotion, said that loudspeakers were placed outwards on the premises, which is located on a higher elevation, thereby disturbing other residents. He said that the police did not stop the programs, though Yakshagana Bhagavatas themselves stopped singing for a while.
The program continued thereafter without any hitch albeit with reduced volume, Mr. Srinivas Gowda said.
Complaints Mr. Chakravarthy told The Hindu that he had asked the Kavoor Police Inspector to look into the issue as he and the district control rooms were getting any complaints. “Maybe, the way in which the Police Inspector dealt with the situation was not proper,” he said and added that earlier too he had asked the Kavoor police to look into similar complaints. The Inspector-General of Police’s official bungalow is located next to Mary Hill helipad, about 500 m away as the crow flies.
Inquiry ordered Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Sandeep Patil said that the police respect the sentiments of all religious denominations. The Police Inspector went to the temple without informing higher officials. He is alleged to have misbehaved there. The matter would be inquired into, he said. Mr. Patil added that more than 70 programs were held in the Commissionerate limits on Monday and all went on smoothly but for one. Area MLA Y. Bharath Shetty told reporters at the temple on Monday that a delegation of three MLAs (from Mangaluru South and Moodbidri and himself) and temple committee members would meet the Commissioner shortly seeking clarity on the issue. Many traditional programs, including the Bhootada Kola, are being objected to of late. If any officer has problems, let him move out instead of hurting local sentiments, he said.