Chikkamagaluru: Authorities arrested hundreds of individuals who intended to participate in a Mahisha Dasara celebration in Hanumanthappa Circle on Friday, despite the ban on such events. Among those detained were members of pro-Dalit and progressive groups who had organized the event. These activists marched along MG Road and were apprehended when attempting to breach police barricades.
In protest against the district administration’s refusal to grant permission for Mahisha Dasara celebrations, the activists raised slogans during their march.
As a precautionary measure, Section 144 prohibitory orders were imposed in Chikkamagalur for six days starting on Thursday due to strong opposition to the event. The celebration, organized by a coalition of Dalit and progressive organizations, was set to have Prof. KS Bhagwan as the chief guest. However, Bhagwan’s participation faced widespread opposition in the district because of derogatory statements he had made about the Okkaliga community.
Mahisha Dasara celebrations have been a subject of controversy in recent years, with Prof. KS Bhagwan’s remarks about the Okkaliga community further fueling the issue. Several complaints against Prof. Bhagwan have been lodged in police stations across Karnataka, including Bangalore and Mandya, in response to allegations of derogatory comments about the Okkaliga community.