The Mangaluru police have arrested Dharmendra, state general secretary, Akhila Bharatha Hindu Mahasabha, under various sections of the IPC, including that of promoting enmity between different religions and criminal conspiracy, for issuing death threats to Chief Minister and BJP politician Basavaraj Bommai over the recent demolition of a temple in Nanjangud.
The Hindutva leader, Dharmendra, in a press conference on Saturday, had warned the BJP State Government of “teaching a lesson” adding that they “didn’t even spare Mahatma Gandhi to protect Hindus.”
Dharmendra, came down heavily on chief minister Basavaraj Bommai and said, “When we didn’t spare Mahatma Gandhi and killed him to protect Hindus, do you think we will spare you?” “Temples were demolished by the government in Chitradurga, Dakshina Kannada, and Mysuru. Who is running the government? If this had happened during the Congress regime, do you think the situation would have been the same? As long as the Hindu Mahasabha is there, we are not going to allow you to demolish Hindu temples,” he added.
Three other members of the Mahasabha have also been taken into custody.
The FIR was registered against Dharmendra, Rajesh Pavithran, Sandeep Shetty Adka, Prem Polali, Kamalaksha Padil, Sudhakar Shetty, Praveen Shetty and Ullal— who were part of the press meet.
Dharmendra’s hate speech come days after a video showing the Mysuru district administration demolishing a temple went viral. The Karnataka high court had pulled up authorities for failing to take action against illegal structures built on government land, prompting the Mysuru district administration to act.