Why Wasn’t He Invited to Ram Mandir, Ask Srikanth Poojary’s Kin, Accuse BJP of ‘Abandoning’ Kar Sevak in Legal Battle – News18

Reported By: Harish Upadhya

Last Updated:

Hubli-Dharwad (Hubli), India

Hindu activist Srikanth Poojary. (News18/File)

Hindu activist Srikanth Poojary. (News18/File)

Poojary was arrested for allegedly being involved in riots triggered in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya

The BJP launched a massive protest across Karnataka against the Congress government in January this year after Hindu activist and Kar Sevak Srikanth Poojary was arrested for allegedly being involved in riots triggered in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya.

The arrest, which had taken place just weeks before the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony in Ayodhya, had given the Karnataka BJP a platform to corner the Congress government as they asked why the man was being arrested in a 31-year-old case.

But four months since, the party has abandoned the Hindu activist. Neither did the party offer to take Poojary to Ayodhya, nor has any leader helped the family financially to cover the expenses of a legal fight for getting bail. Poojary is an auto-rickshaw driver in Hubbali.

“Nobody has given us any money. We spent a lot on getting bail for him. We also had to spend money for his medical treatment. Local workers say the party had sent money for us but someone cornered it. Everyone benefitted from the controversy but nobody bothered about us after that. We just wanted him to get out of jail. We don’t want to say anything now because there is a fight between BJP and Congress in Hubbali now and we want to stay away,” said a close family member of Poojary.

In January, Hubballi Dharwad Central MLA Mahesh Tenginakai had met Poojary’s family members and assured them that the party will stand with Poojary. Tenginakai was present when Poojary was released after he was granted bail by the first additional district sessions court.

Family sources say nobody even offered to take them to Ayodhya although the state unit of the BJP had organised several trains to Ayodhya for the Ram Mandir visit. “Nobody offered to take us to Ayodhya, everyone just gave statements. But it’s okay, we will go on our own later,” said a family source.

Responding to News18’s question, Tenginakai said the party would “fully assist in the legal fight” but evaded questions about taking Poojary to Ram Mandir.

“The case was reopened because it wasn’t closed. They created a huge issue, gained political mileage, left Poojary in poverty without helping him fight a legal battle. Forget about that, why was he not invited to Ram Mandir?” asked Congress MLA Rizwan Arshad.

Poojary was arrested in the 1992 rioting case in which of the total 13 accused, nine were arrested and three died. Poojary had absconded and never got arrested. He did not secure any bail or appear before the court. In 2006, the case was designated as long pending by the court. Poojary had been booked in 14 different cases in different police stations over the last three decades. The cases pertain to the charge of sale of illicit liquor, rioting and gambling.

Find Lok Sabha Election 2024 Phase 3 Schedule, Key Candidates And Constituencies At News18 Website.