Updated March 19th, 2024 at 21:32 IST

Hanuman Chalisa Row: What Led to Mega Protest in Bengaluru | Key Points

Hanuman Chalisa Row in Bengaluru: BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje were detained as the protest intensified.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Bengaluru Protest | Image:ANI

Bengaluru: Dramatic scenes were witnessed in Bengaluru on Wednesday as a massive protest erupted in Nagarathpete, a day after a group of men assaulted a shopkeeper for allegedly playing Hanuman Chalisa during ‘Azaan’.  In the video, people can be seen chanting Hanuman Chalisa and Jai Shree Ram to show their anger against the brutal assault on the shopkeeper Mukesh. For the unversed, BJP Lok Sabha candidate Tejasvi Surya had given a call to party workers to sport saffron shawls and chant Hanuman Chalisa at Nagarathpet on March 19, Tuesday to protest against the incident. He had said the campaign should start at 12.30 pm outside Mukesh's shop and "Hanuman Chalisa" should echo in the entire area. 

As the protest intensified, BJP MP Tejasvi Surya and Union Minister Shobha Karandlaje were detained. To bring the situation under control, police also had to impose prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the CrPC, banning the assembly of five or more people.   


Surya had also visited the shopkeeper and urged Bengaluru City Commissioner B Dayananda to order an investigation in an unbiased and professional manner to apprehend all the remaining accused by Tuesday morning and serve justice in the case. 


"Mukesh told me that every evening, he had a practice of playing devotional songs... Hanuman Chalisa on his speaker... Last evening while he was conducting his business, attending to his customers and playing Hanuman Chalisa, a few miscreants came to his shop, the whole of which was captured on CCTV. They had an argument with him and demanded that he switch it off and stop playing the Hanuman Chalisa,” Surya told the media.

“When he (Mukesh) refused, he was pulled out of his store and six-seven miscreants thrashed and attacked him... He has suffered grievous injuries," he said.  


What Had Happened?

The assault allegedly took place over playing Hanuman Chalisa, a Hindu devotional hymn in praise of lord Hanuman, at a shop in central Bengaluru area. However, the police said they did not find any substantial evidence to support the accusation and the complaint did not mention it.

According to the FIR, an altercation broke out between Mukesh and the gang members over loud music being played, on Sunday evening at Siddannagalli under the limits of Halasuru Gate police station.


In the purported CCTV footage, which has gone viral a group of youth is confronting the shopkeeper over playing the 'bhajan' during Azaan time. It led to a heated argument between them with one of them grabbing the shopkeeper's collar. When the victim tried to retaliate, they dragged the shopkeeper out of the shop and beat him up.

According to police, the shopkeeper played a song on high volume during the time of Azaan, which apparently irked the youth belonging to the minority community. They went to question the shopowner, leading to an argument. One of the youths started punching Mukesh and a fight ensued between them.


Based on the complaint, a case has been registered and three men were arrested.

The FIR has been registered under 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 149 (every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object), 307 (attempt to murder) and other relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.


Speaking to reporters, Mukesh said, "Yesterday around 6.15 pm, I was playing a devotional song... three to four people came and threatened me that they will beat me up if I play loudly with speaker... I asked them what was the problem. They said it's our azaan time now and that such (Bhajans) should not played at this time." "If you play like this, we will beat you. Later, one of them grabbed my collar and when I tried to resist, they thrashed me and threatened to stab me with a knife," he added.

BJP Lambasts Congress

In his reaction, Karnataka BJP President BY Vijayendra attacked the Siddaramaiah-led Congress government over the law and order situation in the state and urged the police to arrest the culprits.


Following incidents such as the chanting of "Pakistan Zindabad" slogans in Vidhan Soudha and a bomb explosion at Rameshwaram Cafe now a Hindu shopkeeper in Bengaluru was viciously assaulted for playing the Hanuman Chalisa. The appeasement policies of the @INCKarnataka administration is pushing Karnataka into a radical state with absolute breakdown of law and order, he alleged in a post on X'.

Holding the Chief Minister and his government accountable for the attack on Hindus and Hindu establishments, he said, Siddaramaiah's 'appeasement politics' has encouraged barbarians to go on a rampage in the state.


Published March 19th, 2024 at 12:59 IST