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“Controversy Ignites in Karnataka as BJP Raises Unauthorised Flagpole with Saffron Flag”

India"Controversy Ignites in Karnataka as BJP Raises Unauthorised Flagpole with Saffron Flag"

In Karnataka, a fresh controversy has erupted over an unauthorized flagpole and a saffron flag raised at a fishing harbor in the communally sensitive town of Bhatkal. This incident closely follows a similar occurrence in Mandya, which had led to a law and order situation.

On January 21, BJP and Sangh Parivar workers constructed a platform dedicated to Hindutva ideologue V.D. Savarkar and erected a flagpole at the fishing harbor in Tenginagundi, Bhatkal, situated in Uttara Kannada district, approximately 500 kilometers from the state capital. The saffron flag with an image of Hanuman was hoisted in connection with the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on January 22.

Following complaints from locals, the Bhatkal tehsildar instructed the Heble panchayat authorities, having jurisdiction over Tenginagundi, to take action. Consequently, on January 27, the flag was lowered, and the entire structure was demolished.

However, BJP and Sangh Parivar activists, undeterred, set up a new flagpole at the same location on Tuesday evening amid chants of “Jai Shri Ram.” As of now, while the flagpole remains, no flag has been hoisted.

Local BJP leaders, including Govind Naik and Subraya Devadiga, insisted that the community should have the right to hoist the saffron flag. “It is the local people who wanted a flag pole named after Savarkar,” stated Govind.

Despite these demands, local authorities stood firm, emphasizing that the flagpole was erected without proper permission. Bhatkal tehsildar Thippeswamy engaged with residents and protesters, explaining the impracticality of demanding the right to install a flagpole on government land. However, he did agree to their demand to remove all illegal hoardings and flags from the area. The situation remains tense as differing viewpoints on the flagpole controversy persist.

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