Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today warned of stringent action against those instigating "communal sentiments" in the state, as the coastal region remained on the edge over a spate of killings of Hindu activists.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today warned of stringent action against those instigating “communal sentiments” in the state, as the coastal region remained on the edge over a spate of killings of Hindu activists. The opposition BJP has been demanding a ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI) and its political wing Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), holding them responsible for killings of Hindu activists in the coastal Dakshina Kannada district. “Not only PFI, we will take action against all communal organisations,” Siddaramaiah told reporters at Mudigere, near here. “Let them be from any religion — whether it is PFI or Bajrang Dal or Muthalik’s organisation (Pramod Muthalik is chief of right wing Sri Rama Sene) or any organisation that instigates communal sentiments and creates communal violence, we will take stringent action against them,” he said.
In the latest incident, 28-year-old Deepak Rao, who was associated with the Bajrang Dal and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, was hacked to death by a four-member gang on Wednesday, following which simmering tension prevailed in the district. Hundreds of activists of the VHP and the Bajrang Dal were today taken into police custody at Mangaluru after they staged a road roko here protesting Rao’s killing. A bandh was observed in Surathkal and Katipalla areas in the coastal district yesterday. Asserting that life is precious, Siddaramaiah assured strict action against those behind the killing. “We have sympathy towards his family, they need to be consoled and they have to be given compensation. The government will do whatever it has to,” he said.
Accusing the BJP of playing “communal politics” for terming the death as that of a Hindu, Siddaramaiah questioned “….have they taken Hindutva on lease? Aren’t we Hindus?” The BJP has claimed that with Rao’s killing, the number of Hindu activist who have fallen to the “murderous agenda of jihadi forces” has risen to 22, and targeted the Congress government for being “soft” towards “jihadi forces”. Trashing the BJP’s charge, the government accusing it of trying to polarise the situation ahead of Assembly polls early this year. State Home Minister Ramalinga Reddy has said 19 people associated with the BJP, RSS or Bajrang Dal have been killed in the state over a period of time, but in at least eight cases, the reasons were personal.