Karnataka Election 2018: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said that his government is considering the withdrawal of cases filed against minority communities, farmers and pro-Kannada activists over the last five years. A circular was sent to all police divisions in the state on Thursday, seeking details of such cases, reported the Indian Express. Siddaramaiah after Republic Day event on January 26 was quoted as saying, “We are considering withdrawal of not just cases filed against people from minority communities during communal disturbances but also farmers during agitations and pro Kannada activists during agitations.” He added that the proposal was pending with the Home Department and that the government would take a decision after “obtaining the opinion of the home department”, reported the Indian Express.
A controversy soon erupted in the state after a Police communique directed withdrawal of cases registered against “innocent minorities” on charges of rioting among others as BJP had yesterday termed it as “Muslim appeasement”. The Congress government, however, rejected the BJP charge and said the circular was applicable to all minorities and also involves those arrested during agitations over inter-state water disputes.
According to report, on January 25, the circular was issued by the state police department and signed by Shivaprakash Devaraju, the Assistant Inspector General of Police. According to which, it renewed calls issued earlier to state police units for details of cases filed against members of minority communities in the course of communal disturbances in the last five years. The circular came as the fourth reminder in the last two months. According to state Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy, no “big cases” were under review. “We are looking at minor cases where people have been booked and considering their withdrawal. No big cases will be withdrawn,” he said on Friday.
Reddy also clarified that the communique, dated January 25, referred to all minorities including Muslims, Christians, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs, opposition BJP was quick to term it Congress party’s policy of “Muslim appeasement” ahead of coming assembly polls in the state.
Senior BJP leader and former minister Shobha Karandlaje, MP, tweeted, “This letter smacks of Muslim appeasement and the anti-Hindu stand of chief minister Siddaramaiah.” She further said, “Being born as a Hindu is a sin in CM @siddaramaiah’s Raj. Govt going ahead to free people involved in communal clashes from the minority community. Anti Hindu Govt.” However, Reddy rubbished the charges, saying that the government brings out such circulars from time to time and this particular one had nothing to do with only Muslims.