Ganesh Chathurthi was celebrated at the Idgah grounds here on Wednesday amid tight security arrangements, hours after the Karnataka High Court gave the go ahead for it.
Amid chants of vedic hymns, Sriram Sena chief Pramod Muthalik along with his supporters installed the idol of Lord Ganesha and offered prayers on the occasion.
“We performed the prayers within the legal framework. Some miscreants had attempted to stop us but we performed our Pooja, which is not only a matter of joy for the people of Hubballi but also across the north Karnataka,” Muthalik told reporters at the Pooja Pandal.
Muthalik termed the day as ‘historic’ as the long-cherished dreams of the Hindu community was fulfilled.
According to him, the district administration has granted permission to conduct pooja for three days at the site. Elaborate security arrangements were made at the Idgah ground to avert any untoward incident.
In a late-night hearing on Tuesday, the High Court upheld an order of the Dharwad municipal commissioner allowing the Ganesh Chaturthi festival to be held at the Idgah maidan in the city.
Justice Ashok S Kinagi held that the property belonged to the Dharwad municipality and Anjuman-e-Islam was only a lease holder for a period of 999 years at a fee of Re 1 per year.
Anjuman-e-Islam had claimed that the property in question was protected under the Places of Worship Act, 1991, which says no religious place of worship can be converted. The high court said in the case of the property in question, it was not a religious place of worship and was allowed for prayers only during Bakrid and Ramzan. During other times, it was used for purposes like a marketplace and a parking lot.