Mangaluru: The audience who attended the inauguration function of Karavali Utsav was confused and the guests of the function were in an awkward situation after a ‘surprise’ protest by Karavali Karnataka Janabhivridhi Forum and Krishi Bhoomi Samrakshana Samithi was staged during the Utsa’s inauguration in the city on Friday, December 21.
Activist Vidya Dinkar led the members who staged a protest by stretching out the banner ‘Karavali Utsava Alla, Karavali Ulisi’ (Not Karavali Festival, Save Karavali) across the stage where the inauguration was being held.
The members demanded to stop the extension of MRPL which is being done by acquiring agricultural land. They gheraoed the inauguration of the nine-day cultural fiesta ‘Karvali Utsav’ to stress on their cause of ‘Save Karavali’. The forum members gheraoed the Karavali Utsav inauguration by holding banners. They even climbed the stage holding banners and the audience could not see the guests seated on the stage.
Later, policewomen took Vidya Dinkar and other members of the forum outside the premise. However, no arrests were made during the protest.
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“This is not Karavali Utsav but they are demolishing Karavali by giving land to MRPL for expansion. We are being threatened asking signature for land acquisition. We are helpless and no one is answering to our demands,” said the forum members.
“Karavali Utsav is sponsored by ONGC MRPL and this is wrong. We need answer from district in-charge minister U T Khader on the expansion of MRPL which leads to acquisition of agricultural land. We will continue our protest till justice is done,” said Vidya Dinaker.
The protest was held in front of district-in-charge minister U T Khader, deputy commissioner Sasikanth Senthil, musician Gurukiran and other guests and is in response to MRPL’s move to acquire land through KIADB (Karnataka Industrial area development board).