Youth attacked over Quran row ahead of Belur festival | Mysuru News

HASSAN: A long-followed tradition of reciting Quran verses ahead of the annual chariot festival of Lord Channakeshava temple here took an ugly turn on Tuesday when some Hindutva activists opposed to the custom allegedly manhandled a youth who they claimed chanted slogans in support of the Islamic text.
Police officials whisked away the youth after he reportedly screamed “Quran Zindabad” repeatedly. SP Hariram Shankar said the youth was a “history-sheeter” and legal action will be initiated against him.
The trouble broke out at Hassan’s Belur town when over 100 Bajrang Dal and VHP activists had taken out a rally opposing the Quran recitations.
Protest against tradition
According to sources, the recitations are a syncretic tradition observed during the “car (chariot)” festival of the Channakeshava temple. It falls on April 4 this time.
It’s not clear exactly how old the tradition is, though some accounts suggest that it is mentioned in a 1932 temple manual. A week earlier, VHP and the other groups had approached the temple authorities to press their demand to drop the recitations.
The Hindutva activists also approached the state’s Muzrai (temple) department with their demands. The issue may be discussed later this week.

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