Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik on Monday warned that his supporters will “chop hands” of those who try to remove posters of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar that have been put up across Karnataka, the Deccan Herald reported.

“We will chop the hands of those Congressmen or Muslims who attempt to tear posters of Savarkar at Ganesh pandals in the city,” Muthalik told reporters.

He added that his outfit will ensure that Savarkar’s contributions and works were highlighted across the state.

“Savarkar neither fought against the Muslims nor the Congress party,” Muthalik said. “He fought against the British. Indira Gandhi herself had brought out a stamp and had honoured Savarkar. The Congress party leaders are unaware of such facts and are making senseless statements.”

Earlier in the day, Muthalik announced that his organisation will put up posters of Savarkar and freedom fighter Bal Gangadhar Tilak in at least 15,000 places across the state, PTI reported. “We want to make it a movement to pay tribute to these two iconic freedom fighters,” he added.

Rakesh Ramamurthy, president of the Hindu Mahasabha Gauri Ganesha Seva Samiti, said that “a few miscreants were opposing” the posters, India Today reported.

The move came days after clashes erupted in Shivamogga city on August 15 over the removal of a poster of Savarkar. A man was stabbed by a group of people near Gandhi Bazar soon after the clashes.

Some Muslim men allegedly attempted to replace Savarkar’s poster with a picture of 18th-century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan.

Two days earlier, another altercation took place between two groups as Savarkar’s poster was removed from the gallery of freedom fighters in a mall in Shivamogga.

Shivamogga MLA KS Eshwarappa had blamed the Social Democratic Party of India, the political outfit of the Islamic organisation Popular Front of India, for the violence.

“This incident was a handiwork of an SDPI worker,” he had said. “His wife is a Congress councillor.”

However, Congress leader and former chief minister Siddaramaiah had remarked that the BJP suffers from “jaundice” as it sees his party’s role in every incident. “Telling and spreading lies is the inherent character of the BJP,” he added.

On Monday, Muthalik said that the Sri Rama Sene will not “keep quiet if the Congressmen insulted freedom fighters”.

“The Congress party is patronising terrorists and corruption,” he added, reported the Deccan Herald.