Azad Maidan yesterday saw a huge gathering of members of the Jain community protesting the frequent deaths of their munis in road-rage cases. The representatives claimed that the munis were being killed in accidents while travelling on foot and demanded more road safety measures.
The rally was also organised to protest the murder of a Jain muni and the destruction of a Jain Tirthankara idol. According to rally organisers, 242 munis have lost their lives in road accidents in the past five years. A few members of the community also went to Mantralaya and demanded footpaths on highways to make sure that the munis were safe while walking.
The participants also threatened to continue the dharna, which was originally scheduled to last only half a day, till the end of the day if the issue wasn’t taken seriously. “The number of road accidents involving munis is large.
We cannot let more of our munis lose their lives in such mishaps,” said Arvind Hariya, a participant. “We need more road safety measures so that they can travel from place to place without the fear of meeting with any accidents,” he added.
Mangal Prabhat Lodha, a member of Legislative Assembly, said, “We need more footpaths on the highways that can be used by pilgrims. It will ensure a certain amount of safety to the Jain community in the future. We have handed over a memorandum to the authorities and hope for a positive response.”
On January 1, a group of Jain munis travelling in Girnar hill in Junagadh, Gujarat, were assaulted by miscreants and Jain muni Shri 108 Prabal Sagar Ji Maharaj was stabbed four times in the incident.
In another incident that occurred two days later in Tumkur, Karnataka, a manastambha (column of honour) and an idol of Jain Tirthankara were defaced on the Mandaragiri hillock. The gate leading to the hillock was also dismantled.
Number of munis who have lost their lives in road accidents in five years