Banished, Ram Sena chief slams BJP

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  • Published 16.03.09

Bangalore, March 16: Ram Sena chief Pramod Muthalik was today banned from entering Mangalore for a year, prompting him to turn against the ruling BJP.

The ban order is not a punitive measure for the January pub attack by alleged activists of Muthalik’s outfit, but a preventive move to stop him from fomenting further trouble.

Muthalik said he would challenge the ban in court, and announced plans to hold public meetings and put up posters against the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.

The aim will be to expose the “corrupt and anti-Hindu” BJP government in Karnataka, Muthalik said, but added that he wouldn’t contest the polls himself.

“The BJP is using it (Hindutva) as a tool to win power. We will go to the voters,” he said this evening, hours after district magistrate V. Ponnuraj issued the ban order.

Muthalik had been showcaused over the January 24 pub raid and for his threat to forcibly marry off couples found together on Valentine’s Day on February 14. He had been detained ahead of the day in Gulbarga as a preventive measure and released later.

“He had supported the attack on (the pub) women and had also said such incidents would be repeated,” DM Ponnuraj said.

A few weeks ago, two other Ram Sena activists had been banned from entering the city. In all, five members, including the two banned, were issued showcause notices in connection with the attack on the pub on January 24.

Muthalik has faced such curbs before, having been shut out of Mangalore for 15 days ahead of a rally by Hindutva groups in 2003. He set up the Shiv Sena’s Karnataka unit in 2005 after being expelled from the Bajrang Dal. He established the Ram Sena a year later.