New Delhi: Massive clashes broke out in Kalaburagi between members of Lingayat and Veerashaiva communities after the state cabinet's approval for the recommendation of separate religion for Lingayat community.
The clashes broke out when members of Lingayat came out to celebrate cabinet's decision to approve the recommendation of a separate religion. Members of Veerashaiva community - who had assembled to protest against the decision - came face-to-face and sloganeering led to flared tempers. Soon, scuffle and manhandling broke out as members of both communities clashed against each other.
Scenes of joy and despair were seen across the state soon after a state Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah okayed the religion based on the suggestions of Nagamohan Das committee. BJP immediately called it a political stunt before elections in the state scheduled for next month. Members of Lingayat community though said it was a result of their dedicated fight.
The demand for a separate religion tag to Veerashaiva/ Lingayat faiths has surfaced from the numerically strong and politically-influential community, amidst resentment from within over projecting the two communities as the same.
While one section led by Akhila Bharata Veerashaiva Mahasabha has demanded separate religion status, asserting that Veerashaiva and Lingayats are the same, the other wants it only for Lingayats as it believes that Veerashaivas are one among the seven sects of Shaivas, which is part of Hinduism.