Hubballi (Karnataka): Ganesh Chaturthi festivities began in the premises of the Eidgah Maidan in Hubballi city on Wednesday under heavy police presence following the Karnataka High Court's green signal to carry out the celebrations.
While Hindu activists performed purification of the ground with 'gomutra' (cow urine), a bomb squad conducted checks before the installation of an idol of Hindu Lord Ganesh. Drones have also been deployed in the premises for security purpose.
Muslim Waqf Board and other organisations have opposed the court's verdict that came late Tuesday night.
Sources said that right-wing Hindu organisations feared that Anjuman Islam organization which had submitted a petition to the High Court against the celebration, might also move the Supreme Court.
The organisers said that they have planned to install a "huge idol" in the afternoon and celebrations will be carried out on a grand scale.
Sri Rama Sena Chief Pramod Muthalik visited the Eidgah Maidan with posters of Hindu Lord Ganesh and photos of Hindutva icon Savarkar and Bal Gangadhar Tilak.
Savarkar's picture was also placed beside the idol.
Union Minister for Coal, Mining and Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi, who hails from Hubballi, addressing the controversial site as Channamma Grounds (the queen of Kittur who fought against British), stated that the land was the property of the city corporation and it does not belong to any organization or religion.
Joshi welcomed the decision of the court and called on people to maintain peace and harmony.
The Supreme Court had given permission for performing namaz twice a year in the premises of the Idgah Maidan - on Eid al Fitr that follows the month of Ramadan, and Eid al Adha, also called as Bakra Eid.
"No one has opposed the performing namaz by Muslims and there should not be any opposition to carry out Ganesh festival for three days," he maintained.
Rani Channamma Ganeshotsav Mahamandali Samithi has been entrusted to carry out festivities by the court.
Union Minister Joshi, Sri Rama Sena founder Pramod Muthalik and other right-wing Hindu leaders are likely to participate in the celebrations.
Meanwhile, Karnataka Police on Wednesday deployed about 1,500 police personnel in the premises of the Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru following the Supreme Court's order not to allow Ganeshotsav celebrations in the controversial site.
The personnel include 21 ACP's, 47 inspectors, 130 sub-inspectors, 126 assistant sub-inspectors and 900 constables who will be monitored by DCPs.
A total of Rapid Action Force (RAF) 120 personnel, a team of 100 special ammunition experts, 10 platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) were also put in place to avoid any untoward incidents.
The police have already taken rowdy elements in the area into custody and also conducted flag marches and a series of meetings with religious leaders.
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