MYSURU: Tension prevailed in the fort town of Srirangapatna after thousands of Hindu activists and Hanuman devotees, holding saffron flags, tried to enter the guarded Jamia Masjid. Police avoided an escalation of the situation by deploying additional forces.
Hanuman devotees took out a Sankeerthana yatra from Hanuman Temple, near Nimishambha Temple. They passed through streets that were decked up for the yatra, and raised slogans, “Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, Hanuman Mandir in Srirangapatna!”
Police stopped them when they tried to breach the barricades and enter Jamia Masjid, which led to a heated exchange between police and the devotees. Later, when they launched a protest in front of the masjid, police asked them to vacate the area.
Activists, who took part in the yatra, managed to remove a green flag from a house and replaced it with a saffron flag. The town was painted saffron as thousands of devotees took out a procession from Ganjam after attending a special puja, and offered flowers at Anjaneya Swamy temple.
Drones deployed to keep eye on procession
Hanuman devotees from neighbouring Mysuru, Ramanagara, Maddur, KR Pet, Pandavapura and other places had gathered for the procession in large numbers since early morning. They removed the Hanuman malle near the Hanuman temple entrance and dropped them into the Cauvery river.
People welcomed the yatra by offering buttermilk and sweets to the devotees. Minister KC Narayana Gowda along with district BJP president Umesh participated in the rally and extended support to the yatra. Police, who had anticipated a huge turnout, stepped up vigil from Saturday evening.
More than 2,000 police personnel were deployed. Besides mobile teams, police also deployed drones to monitor the movement of the procession and activists. Police teams were deployed around Jamia Masjid to ensure that activists do not enter the premises and offer puja.