Sharan Pumpwell is a far-right Hindutva fanatic and militant leader of the Hindu militant organization Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Mangalore, Karnataka.
As a devoted member of the VHP, Pumpwell invests all of his time and energy in propagating anti-Minority propaganda and hatred.
He is a seasoned criminal and a habitual offender. In 2011, Pumpwell and twenty-three others were booked for robbery and rioting after they attacked a birthday party and looted money and valuables from the victims.
He actively participates in hate-mongering on the ground and leads anti-minority (anti-Muslim) campaigns in Mangalore and other parts of the State. In January 2023, addressing a huge crowd in Bajrang Dal’s ‘Shaurya Yatra’ in Karnataka’s Tumkur district, he sadistically called the killing of Muslims in Gujarat a display of Hindu bravery.
“Remember the Gujarat massacre incident, when 59 kar sevaks were returning from Ayodhya, and their compartments were burnt? Also, remember the answer given by the people of Gujarat. None of the Hindus sat at home with their hands tied. They all got down to the streets. They entered each house. Fifty-nine kar sevaks were killed, but the count of the number of people who were killed as revenge is still not available. It is estimated that around 2,000 people were killed. This is the bravery of Hindus,” he said. He continued and openly threatened to kill Muslims, “… I am warning those Jihadists, if our workers are killed from now on, it will be not one, not two, but three. If you attack our worker, we will hospitalize ten of your people.”
The hoax of love jihad is one of his many preoccupations. Recently (Jan 2023), VHP launched an ‘anti-love jihad helpline number’ in Dakshin Kannada to provide information, legal assistance, and also counseling for the “victims of love jihad.”
Pumpwell said, “There have been cases of ‘love jihad’ in Dakshina Kannada district. Incidents show that women in schools, colleges, and workplaces are their targets. We want to stop it.The auto wallahs, students, and youth of Mangaluru are our eyes and ears.”
Pumpwell, in an interview with The Quint, readily and cheerfully admits the accusations of violent moral policing and says, “it is totally fine to thrash girls if they roam around with their boyfriends in park or streets.”
He, along with other sister organizations of the VHP, opposed the decision of a private autonomous educational institution to name one of its parks after Father Stan Swami, a priest and tribal activist who was the victim of an institutional murder. Pumpwell warned the college that if the decision is not withdrawn, ‘the college will be responsible if any untoward incident/attack.”
VHP and Bajrang Dal organized an arms distribution program, or ‘Trishool Deeksha’, in Mangalore in October 2021. This ceremony is a part of Hindu youth militarisation, organized regularly in different parts of India. Pumpwell led the Trishool Deeksha program and audaciously said, “we have not distributed bombs or grenades…we organise these programs to instil confidence in our workers for the protection of religion.”
In March 2022, Pumpwell asked the authorities to ban Muslims from participating in commercial activities near Temples. He further warned Hindus who participate in the bidding and told them not to sublet shops to non-Hindus.
In May 2022, a ‘ritual’ was conducted by the VHP to find out whether there was ever a temple at the site, where a mosque is situated in Malali in Mangalore. Pumpwell was behind it and told the media that the ‘ritual has confirmed that the mosque is built on top of a Hindu temple.’ The matter is, however, pending in court.
Mohammed Fazil, a Muslim youngster, was murdered in Suratkal, Mangalore, on July 29, 2022, by a few masked men. Pumpwell later claimed that he had hatched the conspiracy to kill Fazil to avenge Praveen Nettaru’s murder, a local VHP leader. Fazil’s father has filed a complaint against him in the matter.
Pumpwell, however, enjoys impunity and freedom to spread venom and violence across the state. The incumbent Chief Minister of Karnataka (then Home Minister) Basavaraj Bommai had personally assured him in 2020 that ‘all charges against him shall be dropped.”