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Boycott of Muslim Traders Row: Karnataka HC Stays FIR against Hindutva Leader

Karnataka High Court

The Karnataka High Court on Friday issued stay orders on the FIR filed against Hindutva leader Sharan Pumpwell for fomenting communal hatred in connection with the issue of allowing Muslim traders to carry out trade in the temple premises in Dakshina Kannada district.

Mangaluru City South police had filed an FIR against Pumpwell in connection with an announcement made asking Hindus to carry out trade only in the shops of Hindu traders who had put up saffron flags on their shops. The police had filed a case for indulging in activities which affect the communal harmony.

The bench headed by Justice T.G. Shivashankare Gowda issued the stay on the FIR and also issued notice to the Inspector of the Mangaluru South police station.

Senior advocate M. Arun Shyam, who argued for the Hindu activist, Sharan Pumpwell, submitted to the court that there was no basis in the FIR.

The case booked suo moto by the police was politically motivated and was filed with ill-intention, Shyam claimed in court. The senior counsel also demanded the FIR to be quashed.

The management of the famous Mangala Devi temple had allowed only Hindu traders in the initial stage to carry out trade during the annual religious fair which was underway. However, it was questioned by a group of traders and submission was made to the district authorities. Later, Muslim traders were also allowed to carry out trade in the premises of the temple.

However, Hindutva activists launched a campaign on hoisting the saffron flag on the stalls of Hindus. A call was also given to the people to carry out trade only from these stalls. Police alleged that on October 16, saffron flags were hoisted on stalls by the Hindu activists under the leadership of Sharan Pumpwell and others.

Sharan Pumpwell had approached the high court seeking quashing of FIR against him. -IANS

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