Mysore/Mysuru: A grand procession marked Valmiki Jayanti celebrations organised by the District Administration in the city this morning.
MLA G.T. Devegowda launched the procession in front of Kote Anjaneyaswamy temple at Palace North Gate. The procession, attended by thousands of people, passed through Chamaraja Wadiyar Circle, Albert Victor Road, K.R. Circle, Devaraj Urs Road, JLB Road and Vinoba Road to culminate at Kalamandira for the stage programme.
The procession was accompanied by a host of folk and cultural troupes including a silver chariot carrying the portrait of Maharshi Valmiki and a tableau carrying an idol of Valmiki, which drew the attention of the crowds enroute. The procession also featured some children and youths dressed like Lord Rama, Lakshmana and Valmiki.
High drama: Even before the launch of the procession, high drama prevailed at the venue when Valmiki Samaja members led by Corporator Lokesh Piya sat on a dharna saying that they would not allow the procession to proceed until the authorities permit unveiling of Valmiki statue at the park in front of Mini Vidhana Soudha in Nazarbad. They claimed that the authorities had evacuated the covered Valmiki statue from the spot overnight, which was to be unveiled later today.
The protestors demanded that the statue be brought back to the same spot and unveiled today itself marking Valmiki Jayanti. Raising slogans against the MCC and the District Administration, they claimed that the authorities had insulted Valmiki community. Despite the efforts of Deputy Commissioner (DC) Dr. K.V. Rajendra and Police Commissioner B. Ramesh, the protestors were unwilling to withdraw their stir.
But finally, the DC convinced them by saying that due process and procedures of the MCC are to be followed before installation of any statue in the city and assured that for now a portrait of Valmiki will be allowed at the spot for offering tributes. Following the DC’s assurance, the protestors withdrew their stir.
Later MLA G.T. Devegowda launched the procession, which was delayed for about half-an-hour due to the dharna.
MLAs T.S. Srivatsa and K. Harishgowda, MLC Marithibbegowda, Mayor Shivakumar, Deputy Commissioner Dr. K.V. Rajendra, City Police Commissioner B. Ramesh and other officials were present.