Temple demolition: Gangavati tense
source: Times Of India, 24 April 2007
GANGAVATI (KOPPAL DISTRICT): Tension gripped the town on Monday when the police resorted to lathicharge twice after protesting mob turned violent during Gangavati bandh.
The bandh call was given by the district BJP and Congress leaders to protest the demolition of a place of worship on Anegundi Road.
Trouble started when a few persons broke down the under-construction Ayyappa temple on a 1.26-acre plot in Survey No.
53, allegedly at the behest of labour minister Iqbal Ansari. The land in question was allotted by the tashildar as per the instructions of the then revenue minister Mallikarjun Nagappa.
The local BJP, Congress and pro-Hindu organisations took out a padayatra on Sunday, appealing to the people to make the Gangavati bandh on Monday a success.
The protest, in which about 10,000 activists participated, began from the APMC yard at 11 am. As the procession neared Ansari's hardware shop, the processionists forced it to down the shutters.
When the workers resisted, the mob resorted to stone-throwing. The police brought the situation under control, after a mild lathicharge.
Trouble again erupted near the Sarojamma Kalyan Mantap when the police blocked the VHP processionists from proceeding further to hoist a flag on the disputed land. Police resorted to lathicharge for the second time, injuring a boy, Rajesh, in the melee.
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