MP freed, BJP calls off Hunsur bandh

Dec 5, 2017

 MYSURU: Citing the release of Mysuru MP Prathap Simha, the BJP called off Monday’s Hunsur bandh which had evoked mixed response in the earlier hours of the day.

No procession was allowed because of ban orders in Hunsur, about 45km from Mysuru. Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde had given the call for a Hunsur bandh after Simha was arrested for moving past police

barricades on a blockaded rally route on Hanuman Jayanti. The BJP called off the bandh around 10am.

Superintendent of police Ravi Channannanavar and additional SP N Rudramuni are stationed in the town, which is heavily guarded by police and patrol squads.

An idol of Lord Hanuman, placed at Muneshwara Kaval grounds to be taken in a procession on Sunday, has been moved to Lakshminarasimha Swamy temple.

As the procession was cancelled owing to the violence, the authorities moved in and shifted the idol to the temple premises.

Rudramuni confirmed to TOI that Hunsur was peaceful on Monday. Police have registered five cases, including one against Simha, in connection with the violence in Hunsur on Sunday.

Describing BJP MP (Mysuru) Pratap Simha’s detention by the police as a “breach of privilege”, Union parliamentary affairs minister Ananth Kumar said on Monday that the party would rake up the issue in the coming winter session of Parliament.

However, chief minister Siddaramaiah shot back: “We could have arrested and sent him (Simha) to jail for what he did, but I told the police not to as he is an MP.”

Simha has been in the spotlight since Saturday morning after a video, in which he is reportedly seen ploughing his government car into a police barricade in the communallysensitive Hunsur town, near Mysuru, went viral.

Simha was heading to Hunsur to participate in the Hanuman Jayanti procession when he was intercepted by police after he failed to stick to the procession route prescribed by the district administration. Simha was picked up by cops and later released.

While Simha and other BJP leaders charged the district administration with being biased by not allowing the Hanuman Jayanti procession, CM Siddaramaiah retorted: “We have never denied permission for Hanuman Jayanti, we let them hold it and agreed to give protection too. The police drew up a route map and told organizers to stick to it. However, Simha refused to follow it and demanded that the police allow him and his supporters to take the route he wants. He was trying to dictate to the police and when the latter tried to stop him by putting up a barricade, he tried to run over the policemen. Can a MP do this? If lawmakers do not follow rules, how will ordinary people react?”

Siddaramaiah said cases have been booked against Simha under Section 353 (use of criminal force to deter a public servant from discharging duty), 336 (endangering the personal safety of others) and 279 (rash driving) of the Indian Penal Code. “This is a nonbailable offence and he could have been arrested,” he said.

The JD(S), too, joined issue with former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy wanting to know why the state government had not arrested Simha.

The CM maintained that Simha was resorting to aggression at the behest of BJP national president Amit Shah. Siddaramaiah said: “Shah had reportedly asked Simha how many lathicharges, teargas and firing inci dents have happened in the state following protests by the BJP Yuva Morcha. In this backdrop, a desperate Simha is resorting to such acts in order to show Shah that he is at work. No person, including an MP, is allowed to take the law into his hands.”

However, the BJP is not amused. Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde told reporters in Mysuru: “The Siddaramaiah government allows Tipu Jayanti but cracks down against Hanuman Jayanti. The CM’s anti-Hindu policies are creating law and order problems. In the land of Hanuman, it looks like Ravana is ruling.”

Kumar alleged that Simha was kept in police custody and taken to places such as H D Kote and T Narasipur before being released. “The deputy commissioner and superintendent of police have acted without knowing the law of the land. They should have informed the Lok Sabha Speaker and explained the reasons for detention of the MP. This amounts to breach of privilege as it curbs the MP’s freedom of expression,” Hegde added.


BJP activists led by general secretary Shobha Karandlaje, staged a protest on Monday at Gandhi Square to register their protest against the detention of Mysuru MP Pratap Simha.

Shobha launched a tirade against Siddaramaiah for restricting the Hanuman Jayanti rally and allowing an Eid-Milad procession. “We felt happy when Siddaramaiah claimed he is a Hindu but his actions and decisions are anti-Hindu. People who came for the rally did not possess any weapons for the government to stop them,” she said, and threatened to intensify the stir.

The protest drew poor response, with just over four score activists taking part in the hour-long dharma. Union minister Ananth Kumar Hegde and MP Pratap Simha were expected to take part, but didn’t because of the thin turnout. At one point, Shobha lost her cool when party workers shouted slogans in a low voice.