The Karnataka Revenue Department organised the 75th Independence Day programme at the Eidgah maidan in Chamarajpet in Bengaluru. The flag hoisting was carried out amidst heavy security by Rapid Action Force (RAF), City Armed Reserve (CAR), and Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) who held guard on all sides of the ground.
Following a huge controversy over the ownership rights of the ground and whether the hoisting of the national flag would take place, the Revenue Department had announced that they would be hoisting the tricolour. Speaking to the media, MP PC Mohan said, “The residents of Chamarajpet wanted to hoist the flag and there was a controversy over this. But the Revenue Department claimed the ownership and I am happy that they initiated flag hoisting.”
Congress leader and Chamarajpet MLA Zameer Ahmed said, “We are very happy that the flag hoisting took place on this ground today. We wanted to hoist the flag at Eidgah maidan and had announced this two months back, even before the ownership was passed on to the Revenue Department.”
The Chamarajpet Eidgah maidan was caught in an ownership battle between the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and the Karnataka State Board of Auqaf (Wakf) starting from June 2022. The issue came to light after several right-wing organisations demanded the celebration of Independence Day, Yoga Day and Ganesh Chathurti to also be accommodated on the ground. Following the controversy, the ownership of the ground was handed over to the Revenue Department citing the reason that the Wakf board failed to produce necessary documents of the ground to prove their ownership. While the Wakf board plans to contest this order, Hindu outfits went a step further and also began demanding the demolition of the Qibla wall at the ground.
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The Revenue Department further decided to have the flag hoisted by its own officer, rather than give permission to Hindu organisations, saying this would lead to friction in the area. Police have been conducting route marches in the area for the last three days to prevent any trouble.
Assistant Commissioner MG Shivanna hoisted the flag and the programme was attended by MP PC Mohan, MLA BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan, ACP Sandeep Patil and DCP Laxman B Nimbargi among others. A cultural programme was also organised jointly by several schools in Chamarajpet. The children performed skits on freedom fighters and sang and danced to patriotic songs.