Police registered a case on Wednesday night, against nine people from a Dussehra procession who barged into a heritage madrasa in Karnataka's Bidar, and performed a puja. Muslim organisations threatened protests if no arrests were made by the end of their Friday prayers.
The mob broke the lock of the Mahmud Gawan Madrasa which dates to the 1460s and is a designated heritage site under the Archeological Survey of India.
Videos circulating online show a huge crowd on the steps, trying to get inside the building. After entering it, they shouted ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and ‘Hindu Dharam Jai’ slogans, standing on the steps of the madrassa, before moving to a corner to perform a puja.
Asaduddin Owaisi, the chief of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, hit out at the state's ruling BJP over the incident, accusing it of promoting such incidents to "demean Muslims".
Visuals from historic Mahmud Gawan masjid & madrasa, Bidar, #Karnataka (5th October). Extremists broke the gate lock & attempted to desecrate. @bidar_police @BSBommai how can you allow this to happen? BJP is promoting such activity only to demean Muslims pic.twitter.com/WDw1Gd1b93— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) October 6, 2022
After the video got viral, a few members of the local Muslim community staged a protest in front of the Police station, demanding action. After the Additional Superintendent of Police Mahesh Meghannanavar and Circle Inspector of Police Sathish persuaded them that proper action would be taken, the protesters dispersed.
Later the day, the police filed a first information report (FIR) against Naresh Gauli, Prakash, Vinu, Manna, Sagar Banti, Jagadish Gauli, Arun Gauli, Gorakh Gauli, and another person after receiving the complaint from Syed Mubashir Ali.
Critics have accused the BJP creating communal disharmony in parts of the state. The allegations started after the row over a hijab ban in educational institutions and spiked as Hindu groups insisted on banning Muslim traders from temple fairs.
According to the Additional SP Meghannavar, the situation around the area is now under control.