‘SDPI flag’ on Adi Shankaracharya statue sparks protest in Karnataka’s Sringeri, probe on

The flag atop the Adi Shankaracharya statue in Sringeri | By special arrangement

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Bengaluru: Tension was reported from Karnataka’s temple town of Sringeri after a piece of cloth resembling the flag of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) was found atop a statue of the revered 8th century philosopher, Adi Sankaracharya.

Angry local leaders of the ruling BJP are alleging the flag belongs to the SDPI and was planted on the statue, demanding a detailed investigation into the incident. Local party leaders are claiming that miscreants are inciting people in the area in the backdrop of the Bengaluru riots that took place late Tuesday.

The BJP has been blaming the SDPI, the political arm of the radical Popular Front of India (PFI), for the riots in Bengaluru that left three people dead.

According to reports, Shankaracharya devotees led by former MLA D.N. Jeevaraj staged a protest after spotting the ‘flag’ on the statue and demanded action.

“Sringeri is a holy town. The statue of Adi Sankaracharya is sacred. This flag belonging to the SDPI that was found on top of the statue is an act by miscreants to try and provoke us,” said D. N. Jeevaraj, former BJP MLA from Sringeri. “We demand a detailed probe by the police. We will not accept any form of insult to our religion.” 

Chikkamagaluru Superintendent of Police Hakkay Akshay Machindra told ThePrint over the phone that they have registered a case and are investigating if the flag really belongs to the SDPI or any other organisation.

“The flag has the colours blue, red and green. It looks similar to the one that represents the SDPI,” Machindra said. “It is not the traditional  green Islamic flag but we cannot say anything for certain until we complete our investigation.”  

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