Bangalore: North Kannada MP and BJP leader Anant Kumar Hedge made a controversial statement against the Muslim community of the state at a public gathering in Kumta on Saturday, January 13. Mentioning numerous mosques across Bhatkal, Uttar Kannada, and Mandya, Hedge alleged they were constructed by violating Hindu religious sites and should be subjected to demolition.
“There were small religious places that were violated in every village of the state. The Hindu community should not stay idle until they are demolished,” he said.
Calling for revenge for the past 1,000 years, he said that his party had nothing to worry about.
He said, “Let the newspapers write, some people find it as a threat. We are doing this as a guarantee. If we do not take revenge for 1,000 years, then the Hindu community can clearly say that ours is not Hindu blood,” alleging that the Babri mosque demolition was the decision taken on behalf of the entire Hindu community.
Hedge took a dig at chief minister Siddramiah by calling him ‘moorka‘ (imbecile) and accusing him of granting special favours to minorities. Responding to the allegations, Siddramiah described Hedge as ‘uncivilised’ and said his behavior reflected his culture.
Further, in his speech, Hedge also directed his comments at the deceased Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Congress leader Sanjay Gandhi, claiming that they died because they were cursed.
“While Indira Gandhi served as the Prime Minister, dozens of saints lost their lives in the movement that began to ban cow slaughter. Swami Karpatri Ji Maharaj (a famous spiritual leader) had cursed her, as hundreds of cows were also shot dead,” he alleged.
Meanwhile, immediately after the speech, BJP MLA and former deputy chief minister CN Ashwath Narayan issued an official statement, distancing themselves and their party from Hedge’s remarks.
The statement said, “The views expressed by the MP, Anant Kumar Hegde, do not align with the party’s official stance.”
Taking suo-moto cognisance, a case was registered against the MP under IPC sections 153 (promoting enmity between different groups) and 505 (statements generating public mischief).